Thank you for your input to our community survey about the proposed Waterfront Development!
We received 1109 survey responses from a balanced distribution of age ranges in the Helensburgh & Lomond area, and people took the time to write 2360 comments in the free-form answer boxes. The Community Council is very grateful to the community for the level of input that we've received.
Our full 50-page report on the survey results is available here.
The headline figure is that 55% of those surveyed did not approve of the overall proposal.
A majority (53%) also felt that the facilities that were proposed for the leisure centre were not adequate for their needs. There was also a significant majority that objected to the designation of the area beside West Clyde Street as being "retail", and against the proposed level of car parking. Finally, the most conclusive result was that 98% want a cafe rather than just vending machines.
We have used the community's opinions and comments to create a set of seven recommendations that, if used to modify the proposals, would address a significant proportion of the public's concerns. One of the key recommendations is to locate the building as per the 2012 Masterplan Addendum because this reduces the flood risk, including ensuring that it will not flood due to climate change, and also reduces the cost of the proposed sea defences. Details of this are in the Appendix to the document, in which we've tried to address a shortcoming in the Flood Risk Assessment (which is not yet public, but which the Community Council have seen).
Our seven recommendations are the following:
- Recommendation 1: The leisure centre must be positioned as per the 2012 Masterplan Addendum, aligned north-south beside the pier, to avoid flooding.
- Recommendation 2: The designers should incorporate the high priority leisure and functional elements identified by the community to ensure that the building meets the needs of its users. These elements, ranked in priority order from the comments, are:
- Fun elements for families, etc.
- Slides for the studio pool.
- Viewing area for parents/carers.
- Spectator seating.
- Multi-use sports hall.
- Larger pool or gym.
- Soft play area.
- Wave machine.
- Step access to the studio pool.
- Skate park.
- More changing facilities/showers.
- Climbing wall.
- Tourism, such as a museum.
- Skating/ice rink.
- Outdoor pool.
- Hot tub.
- Diving board.
- Sea view from the pool.
- Bowling alley.
- Improvements to the pier.
- Recommendation 3: There must be a café facility, rather than just vending machines.
- Recommendation 4: The designers should be asked to look again at the question of spectator seating and consider how it can be located without adding significantly to the volume of the pool hall.
- Recommendation 5: The designers should consider all possible options to create a distinctive design statement that inspires the community.
- Recommendation 6: Car parking must be reviewed for the whole of the town centre and, if the analysis shows a need for more parking, then the area marked for retail development should be rezoned for parking.
- Recommendation 7: The area currently designated for retail must, at least, be reduced in size to the area agreed in the 2012 Masterplan Addendum and, preferably, other uses for this area should be explored – as prioritised by the community – such as a skatepark.
We briefed the project team about these recommendations on 23rd May, and they will incorporate these comments into their position statement for the Helensburgh and Lomond Area Committee meeting.
That meeting has been moved from its proposed date of 8th June to 21st June to allow proper consideration of all the comments and suggestions, which we fully welcome.