A dear green place or just pie in the sky?

Could this empty walkway be transformed into allotments?
Could this empty walkway be transformed into allotments?

Motherwell could receive its own version of the new Sky Gardens in London, with an idea to create a dear green place on the roof of the shopping centre.

At present the area at the foot of Brandon Court which links the footbridge over the railway with domed area of Brandon Parade South is nothing but empty tar paper, with a few scattered cones.

However, an idea has been put forward that would transform it into gardens and allotments to create a space to relax above the hustle and bustle of modern consumerism.

Planning Aid Scotland (PAS) included the idea in a presentation to North Lanarkshire Council’s Motherwell Local Area Partnership (LAP) last week to keep those present up to speed with how the draft Town Centre Action Plan is progressing.

Eric Dawson of PAS, who gave the presentation, said: “One of the things we are looking at is how to make better use of what is already here in Motherwell.

“We know there isn’t a bottomless pit of money so every change or proposal included in the draft action plan has to be budgeted for.

“During the charrette we encouraged local residents to give us their ideas about what small changes could make a big difference.

“One of them was to turn the roof of the shopping centre into a green place where people can sit and relax.

“Someone said during the process that there is nowhere to sit and just enjoy the sun on your back, so maybe this is an option.

“Although I stress this is not an idea formed by myself or PAS, I could see Brandon Court having their own semi-private garden and then the public space perhaps featuring allotments, hanging baskets, benches ... maybe even a bowling green.

“Of course everything would need to be in raised beds, you can very well dig through the ceiling of a shop. But I am pretty confident that if the council, the shopping centre or any individuals were really keen to take this forward then it wouldn’t cost the earth and funding could be found to make it a reality.

“This is just one of many, many ideas we received and even if it doesn’t happen then who knows what other ideas may be sparked from it to improve the use of the facilities in Motherwell town centre which is, after all, the main reason for this exercise.”

The draft Motherwell Town Centre Action Plan will be presented to the public at 6pm in Funtastica on August 20.

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