Public have say on future of Ravenscraig

A Guinness World Record was broken at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility on Sunday as 547 people came together to dance the slosh in support of the Westfield British Transplant Games.
A Guinness World Record was broken at Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility on Sunday as 547 people came together to dance the slosh in support of the Westfield British Transplant Games.

North Lanarkshire Council has published the results of its community consultation exercise into the future of Ravenscraig.

Last autumn Ravenscraig Ltd announced that due to changed circumstances surrounding the economy and retail sector the nature and scale of the Ravenscraig masterplan was no longer considered feasible.

With a new masterplan being drawn up the council decided to gather from the public their thoughts on what would be desirable for the site, with these views then being passed to Ravenscraig Ltd for consideration.

The consultation took the form of a drop−in session held at the Ravenscraig Regional Sports Facility over one afternoon and evening in November.

This was in addition to several one-to-one discussions between the consultants and specific stakeholders such as businesses in the area, college students, the Central Scotland Green Network Trust, New College Lanarkshire and Sustrans Scotland.

The drop-in session attracted 75 visitors, who left 150 post-it notes with comments and completed 34 comment forms.

A further three e−mails with comments were received following the posting of a video of social media.

The council’s head of Enterprise and Place Shirley Linton said: “While it was not the purpose of the consultation to present a masterplan proposal, the priorities expressed by the local community and stakeholders could have implications for the site in terms of urban structure, land use and movement.”

A number of comments stressed the need for community facilities, particularly primary schools, to be delivered as soon as possible.

The is also a desire for convenience shopping to reduce the dependency on cars, with most people proving content with the original proposed town centre being scaled back or removed.

Improved public transport facilities are wanted in order to travel to Motherwell and Wishaw, including a new rail station, with additional support for the creation of employment uses and improved broadband.

Consultation with specific stakeholders also brought up improved public transport facilities as well as pedestrian and cycling access and car parking at the college and regional sports facility.

Ms Linton said: “Overall, the general scope and nature of the comments appear to reflect a view that the site requires appropriate facilities to support the resident and business communities there, and that the revised masterplan should still seek include provision for employment uses, other facilities to serve the area.

“The exercise has been useful in providing the council with an initial view on the future of the site from the local community and key stakeholders, and has identified a range of issues to be considered.“

Councillors will now discuss the feedback when they gather for today’s (Wednesday’s) Planning and Transportation Committee meeting.