Crail Charrette Delivers its Local Action Plan
Local democracy and power to the people are flavours of the month with the new Scottish planning bill passing it third stage a couple of weeks ago. As part of this, communities are being encouraged to shape their development for the future by coming up with their own local action plans. Crail, the jewel of the East Neuk, is leading the way, with its local action plan being launched on Friday 6 th July. The local action plan is the culmination of a year-long charrette process involving all of the local stake holders in Crail getting together to identify the problems and opportunities that future development might hold. Instead of saying no to development, the Crail community has overwhelmingly embraced it as vital to its future, particularly in the light of the problems of lack of affordable homes, limited employment and services dwindling as an increasing proportion of the population becomes part time residents.
"Crail Preservation Society is 60 years old this year and this Local Plan is a wonderful birthday gift from the community, as it reflects the values that CPS has focused on for all these years." Dennis Gowans, Chairman Crail Preservation Society
The Crail Local Action Plan embraces development in Crail, but not any development. The community identified priorities in three public consultation periods involving over 1200 separate contributions from at least 550 stakeholders and culminating in three public workshops where over 100 people were present at each. The priorities include building new houses that are fully part of the community, and suitable for local families rather than more holiday lets. Another priority is the expansion of the green and natural spaces in the town, and particularly through and around the new developments, to maintain the pleasant, non-urban environment that makes Crail such a special place to live in. The environment and maintaining green footpaths and expanding public wild spaces in Crail like Denburn Wood came top of a survey completed by nearly 200 Crailers. Other priorities include developing
community facilities, and improving the harbour and town centre facilities for local businesses and residents, that along with the environmental improvements, will further enhance Crail as sustainable and beautiful place to live in and visit.
"The Charrette has been a wonderful process whereby we have been able to get the views and aspirations of a large cross section of the people of Crail. Crail Community Partnership now have the big job of implementing and delivering." David Jerdan, Chair of Crail Community Partnership
The production of the Crail Local Action Plan was strongly supported by the Scottish government, Fife Council and elected representatives and now provides the means by which their top-down planning can be balanced by bottom-up participation, where the views of the local community are properly considered and respected. Crail has formed the Crail Community Partnership to take their local action plan forward. With over 100 individual life members already, and the support of more or less every community group in Crail through the charrette process, there is a clear mandate to make the plan happen. Crail Community Partnership is presented the newly produced plan on Friday 5th July before the hard work starts. Challenges ahead include incorporating up to 350 new houses that are planned
to be built to the north of Crail as part of the Fife regional plan. Crailers have said clearly they are up for this challenge, to make a viable and sustainable Crail for the future.
"Crail Community Council welcome this plan. It is ambitious but realistic, and will guide Crail, as it faces the future, with optimism and confidence." Professor Max Taylor, Chair and Provost, The Royal Burgh of Crail and District Community Council