THE opinions of the people of Comrie are once again being sought as stage two of the community-led development of Cultybraggan Camp gets underway.
The former army camp is entering its third year as a community-owned resource and at a meeting on Monday at 7.30pm in the White Church villagers will be able to have their say on how the project should progress.
Much has happened at Cultybraggan since the buy-out two years ago, with the enterprise being held up as a national example of best practice.
Now that stage one is almost complete, the community is being asked to think about the longer-term plans for the site.
New ideas for future projects at the camp are emerging all the time, with some interesting concepts being put forward for the next phase:
Community-owned leisure business
Perth and Kinross planners have indicated they would consider an application on the hill ground area for a small-scale leisure business. There is the opportunity to locate up to 12 self-catering eco pods, which would be built to the highest standards of sustainable architecture. The units would have reed bed drainage and renewables technology.
If such a project got the thumbs-up from locals it would become a community-owned business, creating employment and revenue for the village. A feasibility study would be needed to ensure there would be sufficient demand for such provision in the area and that it would not adversely affect existing local businesses.
The area to the west of the camp has attracted interest from a number of commercial businesses. While some would like to rent either buildings or land, others have expressed an interest in purchasing plots for commercial development.
The trust says: “We are taking forward ideas for renting space and would be interested to know if the community feels plots could be sold in this area for business use in the longer term if we need to raise cash in the future. We would also welcome discussion about the types of business uses which the community would be comfortable to see at Cultybraggan.”
It is also being proposed that some of the Nissen huts could be used as self-storage units and PKC planners have indicated that planning consent for this idea could be applied for.
Comrie Development Trust says the community land ownership of 90 acres is an important resource for the village. The plans it is developing assume that it will remain in community ownership for the benefit of local people and future generations.
However, it stresses there is always a risk that things will not work out the way it wants them to so risk management will also be discussed at the meeting.
Included in this will be the camp’s potential to provide two housing plots.
The trust says: “The village was very clear that people did not want large-scale housing development at Cultybraggan. We do, however, have to have a fall-back position if things do not go to plan.
“PKC’s planning department have indicated that they would be likely to grant outline planning consent for two housing plots in the area served by the separate access to the east of the camp gates. The trust believes that this would serve to increase the value of the asset and help manage risk.
“We are aware that there is still local interest in affordable housing but our discussions with the planners suggest this is more likely to be acceptable in the village, perhaps through some form of land swap.”
There is an invitation to visit the camp and talk to the Cultybraggan Working Group between 10am and noon on Sunday. For more information contact Isla or Emma at the office in Dunira Street, Comrie, phone (01764) 670769 or email email@example.com.