Today we have been browsing the official Lochgelly Charrette website (http://www.scotlandcharrettelochgelly.co.uk) where we came across a nice piece of fiction written by Fife Council, titled Success of Lochgelly Charrette recognised.
We have decided to go through the article, piece by piece, and show (at least locally) why the Lochgelly Charrette has not been considered a success by the most important people in Lochgelly, the local community.
The Lochgelly Charrette which ran between 8th and 13th March was the second of three Charrettes in the Scotland Charrette series and the first to be led by a local authority.
This is just confirmation that the Lochgelly Charrette was not a public led consultation which has led to much criticism of the process, since it was originally sold to the local community as a public led initiative. If it was a public led process, plans for the small store, which has received much criticism and objections locally, would have been shelved.
Although the small store was rejected by the Cowdenbeath Area Committee, there is still some concerns that this proposed store will still be given the go ahead through appeal.
He added (David Thompson): “The success of the Charrette is very much down to the involvement of the local community, and in particular the local schools and youth groups and we are very thankful to everyone who participated.”
Once again, they are trying to portray the charrette as a local initiative, even though they have admitted that it was a Fife Council led initiative. The consistent claims that this was a public process shows contempt for the feelings of the local community, and unfortunately it seems as though the youths of Lochgelly are now being used as pawns to highlight the supposed success of the Charrette.
Internationally acclaimed designer Andres Duany, who led the week-long Charrette in March, said this had been one of his most complex projects to date. His ambitious proposals focused on how Lochgelly might look in 15-25 years time with a new town centre supermarket, a redeveloped railway station, world class golf course and reinvigorated high street.
Many people of the Lochgelly community have spoken out against the proposed supermarket that was put forward by Fife Council and backed by Andres Duany, and just reading the local paper (Fife Times) will show that the community do not care for the proposals put forward for the Lochgelly Golf Course.
In advance of the consultant’s report, expected mid-May, Fife Council has been progressing the following:
* Ensuring the Lochgelly Charrette report is incorporated in the emerging Mid Fife Local Plan preparation process
This shouldn’t be too hard to achieve, as the plans proposed are almost a duplicate copy of the Mid Fife Local Plan, which has already received much complaints locally throughout the years when the plans were first proposed.
* Considering setting up a local implementation group for Lochgelly
There is already 2 groups that are set-up to discuss all the local plans within Lochgelly, the Lochgelly Community Development Forum and the Lochgelly Community council, which have both been very active on a range of issues locally and also critical of some of the proposed plans.
Therefore, our assumption is that Fife Council is considering setting up a local implementation group for Lochgelly that will agree with all their proposals regardless of public opinion.
We have one question for Fife Council with regards to the Lochgelly Charrette; If the Lochgelly Charrette was considered successful, why is the majority of the Lochgelly community referring to the charrette as the Lochgelly Charade?
This is a question that will probably remain unanswered but we welcome Fife Council to try and answer our criticisms and the criticisms of the local community.
If you would like to comment on this article and leave your opinions on the Lochgelly Charrette, please do so below. You can also view the full article published by Fife Council and leave them your comments at: http://www.scotlandcharrettelochgelly.co.uk/press-release/success-of-lochgelly-charrette-recognised/