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What can a Local Place Plan do for Dunoon?

Updated: May 9

Pavilion, West Bay. By local illustrator, Walter Newton
Pavilion, West Bay. By local illustrator, Walter Newton

Communities around Scotland are coming together to discuss, collate and present their vision for the future of their town or village as a Local Place Plan. We’re doing the same in Dunoon. Is all this effort worth it? We think so and here’s why. 

Place planning is bit of a buzzword at the moment. Across Scotland, community councils, third-sector organisations, community development trusts, local groups and local businesses are becoming increasingly aware that a Local Place Plan can raise the profile of the aspirations of their community. Behind all the buzz is an opportunity. Creating a Local Place Plan for Dunoon is a chance to present a community-led vision for how we want our town to be.

What is a Local Place Plan?

“A Local Place Plan is an expression of a community's aspirations and solutions which can influence the local planning policy. It sets out priorities for future development in an area, as well as helping communities to develop and deliver their own projects.” 

A Local Place Plan is created by a community for that community. In Dunoon, the Dunoon Community Development Trust is facilitating the creation of a Local Place Plan for our town. We’ll do this through a series of community events, exhibitions and opportunities for sharing of ideas and information. This is not something we will be delivering on our own. The development of a Local Place Plan will done in partnership with local organisations, including Dunoon Community Council.

Everyone can get involved. Local residents, those running local organisations or groups, and those running businesses in Dunoon are all invited to contribute. We want to hear from a wide range of voices in our community to create a plan that is good for people, our economy and the environment. 

On completion, the Local Place Plan document will be submitted to Argyll and Bute Council Planning Department for validation and registration.

Ann Campbell, partnership and development manager for Dunoon Community Development Trust comments:

 A Local Place Plan for Dunoon could influence Argyll and Bute’s Local Development Plan by identifying where development should and shouldn't happen. It gives our community a more direct connection to the planning decisions that impact on our place.”

Where does a Local Place Plan fit?

What can a Local Place Plan do for Dunoon?

Now you know what a Local Place Plan is. Here’s why we think it’s a good thing for Dunoon. 

1. It will get people talking

We know that people have strong feelings about what is both wrong and right with the town. You only need to glance at Facebook to get a sense of how much our community wants to make change happen at a local level. Working on a Local Place Plan can get people talking and sharing their ideas about how to make positive changes in Dunoon. While there are many organisations and individuals who are doing great things for our community, they don’t always have the time or the opportunity to share their big-picture aspirations for the town in a way that will be heard. That’s where a Local Place Plan can help. It can showcase the positive work that is already happening and identify new projects and ideas. It can build a shared understanding of our place.

2. It’s an opportunity to explore new ways of doing things

Bringing ideas together around key development themes can highlight new or different ways of doing things. By hearing what research, local experts, voices of experience, young people and other groups have to say on things like high street development, climate change and greenspace management, we can find new ways of doing things that could have a lasting positive impact on our town. 

3. It can bring our community together

Creating a Local Place Plan is a collaborative process. By engaging with this process you will hear a wide range of perspectives, get fresh ideas and be part of developing a shared vision for Dunoon. It is an opportunity for people who are interested in improving our town to come together, discuss ideas, make plans and form new projects or partnerships. 

Dunoon Community Development Trust is already supporting work that is the direct result of  community conversations. This includes the What’s On Dunoon website, Dunoon Bothy project, Grow Food, Grow Dunoon and Dunoon and Cowal Coworks. With more people coming together to develop ideas and inform funding applications, we can make more good things happen across the town. 

4. It will get our community thinking more sustainably

What will the impact of climate change be on Dunoon? How can our community’s vision of the town support the wellbeing of our people, our economy and the planet? How can investment coming into the area support Scotland’s Net Zero agenda, protecting biodiversity whilst creating wealth and improving health locally? 

Collaboration is key to finding answers to these questions. Sustainable solutions often require people and organisations to work together to reduce waste and protect the environment. A strong Local Place Plan, developed with people and organisations, will help us identify opportunities to use resources more effectively and keep wealth in the community. Without a Local Place Plan, we might miss these opportunities. 

5. It could influence change in Dunoon

High street regeneration, community food growing, renewable energy and greenspace development are just some of the areas where a Local Place Plan could help to influence change.

By setting out agreed aspirations and solutions, a Local Place Plan can help the organisations working here in Dunoon to apply for funding and create projects that will help to shape our town for the better.

Interested? Here’s how you can get involved 

  1. Become a Dunoon Community Development Trust member. It’s free to join and you will receive our regular newsletter which will include opportunities to get involved with place-planning events and activities as they arise. Become a member here.

  2. Come along to our place planning events and activities. We’ll share them here and in our newsletter as they arise. 

  3. Read more about what a Local Place Plan is and can do for communities. Take a look at Argyll and Bute Council's guidance on Local Place Plans here> and take a look at Our Place, a website that provides resources to organisations undertaking Local Place Planning processes.

  4. Also, take a look at Dunoon Community Develpoment Trust's short presentation here> about our approach to the Local Place Planning process here in Dunoon.


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