Published 07 December 2022
Proposals to expand the boundaries of Dumbarton town centre protected by Conservation Area status will be shared with residents for feedback.
Conservation areas are places of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities have a statutory duty to identify such areas.
There are currently six conservation areas in West Dunbartonshire, including Dumbarton town centre which was designated protected status in October 2019. Now it has been recommended that its boundaries should be extended to ensure the preservation of other notable landmarks such as Dumbarton Bridge and the Scottish Maritime Museum. Suggestions for additional listed buildings are also included in the document.
The proposals are informed by a successful initial round of public engagement in the winter of 2021/22. This included a town centre walkabout for groups of pupils from local schools, a dedicated Council webpage and online quiz seeking people’s views on the town centre, plus a series of ‘Did You Know’ posters and art drawing attention to key heritage features.
The draft Conservation Area Appraisal document has been published with the consultation period running until 6 January 2023. Information on the consultation can be found at https://www.west-dunbarton.gov.uk/council/public-consultations/dumbarton-town-centre/ and at Dumbarton Library.
Councillor Lawrence O’Neill, Convener of West Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Committee, said: “We have a community to be proud of and a heritage that we are duty bound to preserve and protect for future generations.
“I would encourage residents to engage with this consultation and have their say to ensure that the places they cherish most in and around Dumbarton town centre are considered for inclusion within the Conservation Area boundaries.”
Deputy Convener of Planning, Councillor Gurpreet Singh Johal, said: “In Dumbarton we are blessed with a historic town with a proud story that is reflected in its architecture.
“It is vital to protect our iconic buildings and places of cultural significance and it is equally important that residents are involved in that collective effort to maintain the traditions and landmarks that help define our civic identity.
“It’s your community, your home and your right to make your voice heard in the Conservation conversation.”
Following consultation, a finalised version of the document will be brought back to West Dunbartonshire Council’s Planning Committee for approval. Any decision to extend the conservation area or create new listed buildings will require further statutory procedures and consultation.
The Conservation Area Appraisal also includes a broad set of specific initiatives including greater control of changes to unlisted buildings through positive engagement with owners, improvements to gap sites and the riverside frontage, enhancements to shopfronts and reviewing car parking provision to create more useable greenspace in the town centre.