When is the Auchterarder area going to gain the basic community facilities it deserves?
The 2008 Development Framework suggested that 800 houses would be built in the local area. A contribution of £1000 per house up to a total of £600,000 would be available to “improve the wider realm or facilities”.
Since that time there has been very little improving of the wider realm or facilities apart from the Provost Walk upgrades.
The requirements to enable this money to be allocated state – “All contributions received will be spent on projects which improve the amenity of the public realm or facilities within the settlement boundary of Auchterarder. These include, but not exclusively, car parking facilities, public hall improvements, adaption of existing school changing facilities to permit access to pitches forming part of the new Sports Facilities, a public library, new or enhanced public transport services, improvements to the core path network and recycling facilities.”
The majority of residents I am sure you will agree would like to see more car parking so this should be quite easy to fund you would think if you read the above. However, the document goes on to further state – “The funding will not be used to fund a single large project, but will be spread across a range of projects.”
Let’s be honest, there is not much car parking space available in the town and to purchase land would probably cost more than the fund has at present.
The other gaping hole in facilities in the area is something for the community. Yes, we have the Aytoun hall for events but what about for kids playing, mums meeting up for a coffee, our older generations having somewhere to sit and meet up? To use the Aytoun Hall, someone needs to book the hall and pay for it.
Why is it that when a consortium of builders came together to build hundreds of new homes in the area, they were not required to provide community facilities? Why is it being left to volunteer community groups to try and take on such a huge task?
Our children are being left with no place to socialise outwith school, our elderly have nowhere to go to get them out of the house. Unless you join a group or organisation, the Auchterarder area has been left with no leisure activities for local residents. Spending time with family outwith the home mainly consists of driving somewhere else to find a family activity.
It’s time Perth and Kinross Council stopped treating Auchterarder and the surrounding area like a dormitory where they can build houses and ignore the infrastructure. They should not be able to say that there are funds available if only local groups would apply for them. Why should local residents have to fight for something that should have been provided when planning permission was granted?
So many developers profiting from building homes in the area and the community gains nothing unless they organise it themselves. Surely it wouldn’t take much for the developers to get together and build a community centre in the public park? It would probably cost them less than the developers contributions.
Now the children’s Summer Camps have been withdrawn so there is nothing for local children to do in the area over the Summer holidays. It’s not that we expect them to be catered for every minute of every day but something in the town is desperately needed to help the community grow together.
It’s time our local councillors stepped up and made Auchterarder count.