The Lochgelly Charrette is over but is this process really a proper public consultation?

All the literature and publicity materials claim that it is a public consultation, however, our group believe that this charade was merely to provide additional strength and support to Fife Councils already proposed plans, which date back several years.

For example, all the meetings were held during the day under the guidance of Fife Council planning with contributions mostly from Land Owners and Developers.

The majority of the Lochgelly population are employed and will therefore not have been able to attend these meetings due to their work commitments. If this was a true public consultation meetings would have been available in the evenings, so the majority of Lochgelly residents could access the team and provide their feedback.

Secondly, meetings were set aside for Landowners and Developers, yet no meetings were set aside for the Community Council, which is an official group, recognised by Fife Council to discuss and represent the local community and raise local issues.

Neither were the Lochgelly Community Regeneration Forum invited to any meetings, and as you may know the LCRF have been a key player in raising awareness to the public of planning issues in the Lochgelly area, as well as campaigning on several other issues to provide a better and fairer life for the community of Lochgelly.

Lastly, and most importantly, all the plans were already in existence and proposed by Fife Council several years ago.

So there is 5 examples of why do not believe that this is a true public consultation, and merely serves as an expensive checklist, so Fife Council can carry out their plans, unhindered, because they will say we were consulted via the Charrette.

Whether you agree with us or not, we would like to know, so please share your opinions in the comment box below.

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  1. sam

    March 19, 2010 at 8:02 pm

    I am in total agreement with you. It is a bit of an insult to Scottish planners that someone from America comes into our town for a week and procedes to tell us how to live and build our houses. What does he know about living in a mining town? The problems that we have. Who paid him and how much has the futile excercise cost us?He delivered the same speech on Saturday that he delivered on Thursday and then walked off not taking questions. I do not believe that was right, no chance to question some of his FANTASTIC ideas that I would be surprised if they ever work. Some of his ideas were o.k.

    I hope that some good comes out of this and that Fife Planners have taken some note of the points that were raised



  2. Christine McGrath

    March 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    I also think it was a way to get Fife Council’s plans passed. Andres Duany endorsing the shopping outlet on Hall Street/High Street and dismissing the one for Auchterderran Road was a prime example. He disregarded public opinion on congested streets, proximity to a school/nursery and being 40 parking spaces short of the legal requirement and stated that it was the only option for the town.
    He also dismissed public concerns about the health risks of new housing being built close to the dual carriageway and Mossmoran.
    To his credit he also came up with an alternative to the three storey flats proposed for South Street. Do you think this idea will be put into pracise?
    In conclusion it was an expensive exercise and I’m not sure what the long term result will be for Lochgelly. It was supposed to change the planning system but whether that will be a change for the better remains to be seen.


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