Sustainable Future for Loch Lomond’s ‘Jewel’ Outlined
Plans for significant reinvestment in one of Scoltand's' most visited and scenic villages took another step forward last week with a strategic Development Framework outlined to community leaders.
Under the proposals, Luss could see up to forty new family homes and eight new commercial premises. Combined with a radical overhaul of the village's traffic management system, improvements to the streetscape and the creation of two new village greens, the plans have been designed to enhance the historic and much-photographed settlement whilst securing its long term social and economic sustainability.
Widely regarded as the jewel in Loch Lomond's tourism crown, Luss attracts up to 750,000 visitors per annum. Last year the community won a hard-fought battle to save the village school. However, the campaign focussed attention on the need to address Luss' declining and ageing population and associated shortage of family homes and business development opportunities.
This led local landowner Luss Estates Company, to commission a Strategic Development Framework which will offer a master plan for future investment in the village and set out a vision of how the village may look in ten years' time.
Simon Miller, Chief Executive of Luss Estates, commented: "Luss is a village with tremendous potential. Few places of such outstanding natural beauty and historic significance lie within easy reach of the key economic hubs of Glasgow and Faslane. Preserving the integrity of the village whilst attracting new, young families to join our community is crucial to Luss' survival. This Strategic Development Framework is intended to provide a blueprint for the future investment required to address this challenge and secure Luss' long term sustainability as a prosperous and viable community."
Earlier this year, the award-winning urban design and economic development team of Page & Park Architects and Roger Tym & Partners commenced work on the project with extensive research and community consultation.
Last week (12 December), their proposals were outlined to community groups at a workshop attended by representatives of Luss and Arden Community Council, Luss and Arden Business Association, Luss and Arden Community Development Trust, Argyll and Bute Council and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park. Following their feedback, a wider public consultation and exhibition will be held in the New Year before the Framework is finalised and submitted to Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park and Argyll & Bute Council.
Simon Miller continued: "Widespread community support is absolutely essential to the ultimate adoption of this Framework. To this end, community groups have been invited to contribute and review the development of the plans at every key stage. The active participation of Argyll and Bute Council and Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park is equally critical and we continue to liaise closely with both authorities to achieve our mutual ambition of facilitating a long term sustainable and prosperous future for the community of Luss.
"Last week saw the second of our consultation workshops and once again I am delighted that so many members of the Luss community were able to attend and contribute. Our first community workshop identified a number of key issues, not least the need to attract more young families to the area. This gave the team clear objectives and following extensive research and further consultation, the draft Strategic Development Framework is now taking shape.
"These plans outline an exciting vision for the future of Luss with more family homes, premises for new and growing businesses and an enhancement of the village structure which will create focal points for residents and visitors, whilst stimulating long term economic growth."
The Strategic Development Framework has also identified opportunities for further new homes and commercial business premises in the wider Luss Estates area.
A wider public consultation on the Framework will take place in the New Year.