Laurencekirk Development Trust and Laurencekirk Villages in Control are looking for the Scottish Government backing in a long term vision plan.
The two community groups have applied to the Scottish Government for support to carry out an intensive planning process for Laurencekirk in 2016.
If the application is successful the groups will hold an event called ‘charretteplus as part of the Charrette Mainstreaming Programme by the Scottish Government. This will be led by a team of professionals with skills such as community planning, land-use planning and community engagement.
This team will led an intensive planning activity. In April both Laurencekirk Development Trust and Laurencekirk Villages in Control presented a long term ‘vision plan’ for the development of Laurencekirk over the next 30 years at a meeting with local councillors, council officers and developers.
Mike Robson, secretary of the Laurencekirk Development trust said: “Laurencekirk doubled its size in less than twenty years and the Aberdeenshire Council’s current strategy is to repeat this exercise over the next few decades.
“Laurencekirk was designed in the 1770s and shortcomings, for example, in the width of the High Street were noted by 1790. The layout is not perfect but to date no authority has fully analysed the needs of the current settlement or the projected requirements for a town of 6,000 people.
“If we are successful in attracting this group of specialist consultants to the town we hope that they can, with the community’s help, produce a plan which will be embraced by both residents and planners allowing a more considered Local Development Plan for the town and orderly progress in keeping with the community’s needs.”
The exercise will also welcome contributions from other settlements in the Mearns and those in the catchment area of Mearns Academy.
Mike added: “ As the “hub-town of the Howe” we need to hear how our neighbours would like to see both facilities and opportunities improve. “We will keep you posted of our progress. Meanwhile please think of the improvements you would like to see and the reasons you can give to support your ideas.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson confirmed that application was being considered
They said: “We recently received an application to our Charrette Mainstreaming Programme from Laurencekirk Development Trust. The assessment of applications to the Charrette Programme is ongoing and the Laurencekirk proposal is under consideration.
“It’s been fantastic to see communities, local authorities and other decision makers come together at charrette sessions across Scotland to share ideas on how they can boost their area’s potential.
“The Scottish Government is supportive of this community-led approach as we recognise that the people who work and live in towns are the ones best placed to understand, identify and promote the opportunities that lie within it.”