If all goes to plan, Redford Barracks will close in 2022. Although I hope this decision is reversed, I have been quietly concerned about how the Council has been developing its plan for the site.
Specifically, I have been anxious about the lack of an opportunity for the community to have a voice (whilst a local MSP is claiming 700 homes are planned for the site!).
If we only build homes on the site, it will be a massive missed opportunity – I’d love to see one of the fantastic listed buildings converted to a hotel (that would bring jobs to the area and stimulate the local economy).
Whatever we do, we must ensure infrastructure is in place to support the development (roads, schools, GPs, etc)
I therefore last week wrote to the Chair of the Working Group overseeing the site making the points below.
I am happy to report that I have now been promised a community consultation event before the end of the year.
Let me be clear, however, just inviting Community Councils will not be enough.
1. Elements of the local community are showing significant interest in how the plans to manage the future of the Barracks are progressing and they want to be involved. I think, at the very least, we should now be thinking about how we update them – particularly on affordable housing and economic development opportunities (and the infrastructure needed to support it).
2. Outside what is locally considered to be Dreghorn & Redford Barracks, there are large areas of MoD land – most notably woodland and housing. Can you clarify the future of these areas?
3. Can notes/minutes from the July workshop that looked at the development opportunities/challenges be circulated? Were any elected members invited to contribute to the workshop?