PROTECTING AND CONSERVING WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE
West Dunbartonshire is simultaneously both progressive and conservative. An optimum balance is essential to provide the best solutions for our area. This section concentrates on protection and conservation as it is what entails most of what we enjoy exploring.
A Local Development Plan (LDP) is required under Scottish planning law for each council area across the country. It allocates sites, either for new development, such as housing, or sites to be protected. It also includes policies that guide decisions on all planning applications. This is also a useful reference for the public to identify the deisgnations of areas in which they live, work and enjoy recreation.
There are some designated areas directly relevant to the areas within West Dunbartonshire that you may want to explore. Scotland has an extremely strong sense of community ownership and one that transcends time to leave that of value for future generations. At times this may appear to conflict with personal ownership rights or real needs to adapt to changing conditions, but this whole process is an integral part of what we consider sound deomocracy and the planning system allows for best practice.
West Dunbartonshire has a number of designated conservation areas. These are areas of special architectural or historical interest, the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance. Selection and designation is carried out by the planning authority, although Scottish Ministers have powers to designate conservation areas. Old buildings can often enhance an area if in a group. The sum of their individual values becoming far greater than individually. Conservation Areas are usually based on a grouping of listed buildings, but it may be more the overall character of an area that needs a formal strategy for preservation. This means that some newer buildings can be included and gap sites suitably filled within the objectives of the strategy.
DUMBARTON TOWN CENTRE CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL
This is a fairly newly designatetd Conservation Area and forms a crescent of such important buildings as Dumbarton Central Station, the Municipal Buildings, Dumbarton Library, some churches and the Burgh Halls (now council offices) sweeping from there along the High Street. This link shows the boundaries. https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/council/newsroom/news/2019/sep/town-centre-conservation/#:~:text=Final%20boundaries%20for%20Dumbarton%20Town%20Centre%20Conservation%20Area,the%20High%20Street-facing%20parts%20of%20the%20Artizan%20Centre.
HIGH DALMUIR CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL
KIRKTONHILL CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL
KNOXLAND SQUARE CONSERVATION AREA APPRAISAL
LUSSET ROAD & MOUNT PLEASANT DRIVE, OLD KILPATRICK CONSERVATION AREA
Listed buildings enrich Scotland’s landscape and chart a great part of our history. Many buildings are of interest, architecturally or historically, but to be listed, a building must be of ‘special’ architectural or historic interest. The criteria for the three different levels of listing are explained on Historic Environment Scotland's website. These are also available on the British Listed Buildings website with added photos and maps.
West Dunbartonshire has 223 buildings listed A or B and a myriad of others in the more general catagory of C. It is because of this that our most cherished historic buildings are preserved.
Categories of listing as defined by Historic Environment Scotland.
Buildings are put into one of three listing categories according to their relative importance.
Category A Buildings of special architectural or historical interest which are outstanding examples of a particular period, style or building type.
Category B Buildings of special architectural or historic interest which are major examples of a particular period, style or building type.
Category C Buildings of special architectural or historic interest which are representative examples of a period, style or building type.
Actually West Dunbartonshire does not have a Green Belt in the sense that it is a protected ribbon of countryside. We are instead actually very fortunate to have vast open natural areas. This varies from crags to rivers and burns and muirland to woodland, some of which is indigenous and some managed forestry. The Local Development Plan identifies appropriate policy across it all.
In British town planning, the green belt is a policy for controlling urban growth. The idea is for a ring of countryside where urbanisation will be resisted for the foreseeable future, maintaining an area where agriculture, forestry and outdoor leisure can be expected to prevail. The fundamental aim of green belt policy is to prevent urban sprawl by keeping land permanently open, and consequently the most important attribute of green belts is their openness. [Wiki]. Within the LDPs conserved natural open space is designated as Local Nature Conservation Sites. We are very fortunate to have an extensive area so designated, whether left completely to nature as woodland or muirland or are as managed natrual areas such as for forestry. It is this which conserves the very areas that many of us walk or cycle.
It is within this that we also find reservoirs.
It is unfortunate that so many beautiful natural areas are misused. In West Dunbartonshire littering and flytipping is a constant problem. The Council has limited resources and cannot constantly clear it. Even then litering and flytipping cost the Council and therefore the Council Tax paying residents exhorbitant amounts quite unnnecessarily. Many areas such as the Clyde shore, the Saltings and the banks of the Leven are cleared by volunteers. You too can help. Simply contact your local councillor for advice.
TAKE ONLY PHOTOGRAPHS LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS
KEEP SCOTLAND BEAUTIFUL website: https://www.keepscotlandbeautiful.org/
SCOTTISH ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AGENCY : https://www.sepa.org.uk/
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE COUNCIL website : https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/public-health-protection/street-care-and-cleaning/litter-control/
ARCHITECTURAL HERITAGE SOCIETY OF SCOTLAND : https://www.ahss.org.uk/
WEST DUNBARTONSHIRE LOCAL DEVELOPMENT PLAN : https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/council/strategies-plans-and-policies/local-development-planning/local-plan/#:~:text=The%20West%20Dunbartonshire%20Local%20Plan%20was%20adopted%20in,the%20assessment%20of%20planning%20applications%20and%20development%20proposals.