Residents of Glenrothes’ west end are being urged to play their part in shaping the future of their community.
Fife Council will reveal later this week its intention to host a design charrette in the Glenwood neighbourhood following long-term calls to regenerate the area.
While much of the work is likely to focus on the old Glenwood shops, it is understood the process will incorporate the wider Macedonia and Tanshall areas.
Local councillor Altany Craik said it was crucial the public were engaged in the process from the outset.
He said: “The Glenwood area, from my point of view, is more than just shops and this is an exciting opportunity to make a huge difference to a wide area.
“The people are good people but the area has had a hard time and we need to try and fix that. I hope people come out and engage with the process.
“It might take five years but if it takes five years and we get it right then that will be a good thing. We have to get the discussion started.
“We really want to talk to as many people as possible and find out what they want as we’re not going to get too many attempts at this.”
The charrette process will aim to develop short, medium and long-term planning objectives for Glenwood.
Many of these plans will be developed from feedback brought to the charrette hosts by members of the public.
When the process is complete, it is hoped core themes will have been identified to be used to inform future planning decisions in the area.
Charrettes are not new to Fife, with similar events having already taken place in the Victoria Road area of Kirkcaldy in 2014, and in Levenmouth in 2013.
Councillor Bill Brown, chair of the Glenrothes Area Committee, said: “It will involve a series of community conversations and workshops to encourage people to come together to discuss ideas for the future of the Glenrothes West area.
“This will be an exciting opportunity for local people to have their say in the future of their community and we’ll be sharing more information soon.”
What is a charrette?
While sounding incredibly exotic and exciting, in reality a charrette is the term given to an intensive planning process that is concentrated on one area.
The term is actually the French word for “chariot” and it is understood that it was absorbed into planning circles from the days where a horse-drawn cart was wheeled among Parisian designers in the 19th century, collecting their scale models at the capital’s school of fine arts.
Today, a charrette is most commonly associated with urban planning and regeneration, processes that involve public consultation and can last for days, weeks, or even months.
Essentially a series of workshops, these tend to start with a small group of designers, working with members of the community to determine what services, public spaces and styles of architecture they would like to see in their neighbourhoods.
The idea is then to present a masterplan at the end of the process, detailing both short and long-term plans to breathe new life into a specific area.