Proposed Land Use Areas



The board met on Monday 22nd August to populate a map of Stronafian with initial proposals for where certain activities could be located in the forest.  This will be passed onto our forest consultant for his comments.

Proposed land use areas

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You can view a Google Map of the above areas here

The board felt the amenity area should be close to the Clachan since this would form a base for people to go into the forest from. The Forest School would also be located in this area.  It was decided some investigation would be required to provide access directly from the hotel to the forest.  Paths to an area higher up where there is little forest cover would provide an area for views, picnic sites and possibly an area for stargazing.

The areas for silviculture were chosen based on selecting areas close to existing access routes and with relatively level topography.  Activities here might involve commercial wood fuel production as well as the possibility of forest smallholdings for low impact silviculture.

It was felt the only suitable location for affordable housing on forest land was in Stronafian since this was relatively level ground, on a road and near existing housing.

We welcome your feedback on proposals below!

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5 Responses to Proposed Land Use Areas

  1. Robert Hayes says:

    My wife and I live in the Clachan, next to the hotel, and while we were initially nervous about the proposed development, not wanting to see this beautiful area ruined by unnecessary construction, these plans seem to have been well thought out. However, there are a number of concerns that should be considered.

    While mention is made of providing direct access to the hotel, the hotel itself is still closed and has very little parking. While parking facilities have been added near the Church, no signs have been provided to let people know about it so visitors to the area often park in places that cause considerable inconvenience to local residents. Either additional parking needs to be provided or signs need to be put up directing visitors to the car park near the Church.

    The woodland walks and stargazing area sound very interesting and my wife and I both look forward to making use of them. The business area, while a little too close for comfort, seems relatively pleasant and it doesn’t appear, looking at the plans, that it will be too intrusive.

    The affordable housing seems to be located in a very sensible position. That said, there have been plans put forward for other houses in the area and if we’re going to get more housing in Glendaruel and the surrounding area we need some kind of shop. Even a small supermarket seems unlikely given the population of the area, but perhaps some kind of community owned store might be considered.

    Such a store could sell products produced by the smallholdings and other local businesses, and could also capitalise on the Kilmodan Carved Stones (which attract a fair number of tourists without any facility for selling souvenirs), while also providing basic groceries for local residents – a half-and-half kind of idea, with one half of the store selling crafts and souvenirs and the other half selling basic essentials for local residents. There is no point considering “affordable” housing when the nearest supermarket, or shop of any kind, is a considerable distance from the local area, and a community store could generate income for the local area.

    I would also suggest that BT be contacted about restoring the public telephone in the Clachan, which was removed last year leaving only an empty box, as such a telephone could be an essential lifeline in the event of an emergency. It may have had very little use in the past, but if visitors are being encouraged to the area and parking is going to be in the area of the hotel, it is likely they will see the phone box and it is the first place they will think to go if someone is hurt. Aside from a select few providers, mobile phone coverage in the Clachan and surrounding area is non-existent, so some kind of public telephone facility seems essential.

  2. Robert Hayes says:

    I would also like to add that some facility needs to be added for litter. My wife and I would even volunteer to empty any bins set up for visitors as it would be preferable to fishing the considerable quantity of rubbish out of our garden that is dumped by tourists every summer. This year’s load, in August alone, almost filled our wheelie bin! Visitors will be welcomed far more warmly by local residents if we don’t have to clean up after them.

  3. Russell says:

    Robert,

    Thank you very much for your constructive comments. I’d like to encourage anyone to leave their thoughts on the website so it can become a vibrant site for discussion as plans progress!

    The Development Trust is aware that the Clachan is in need of attention in terms of signage, parking and general facilities for visitors and are hoping to instigate some small scale environmental improvements around the Clachan in the near future. I don’t know if we had considered litter bins until now but it is a good point and needs to be considered.

    In the longer term we hope to see the Clachan used as a hub for activities in the forest and hopefully this would involve the hotel (if possible) and a shop. Tourists can be beneficial by helping to sustain services, such as a shop, that are then of benefit to residents.

    Regarding the telephone box – I believe the Community Council recently acquired the 3 telephone boxes in the Glen, although I’m not sure if it plans to reinstate telephones in them.

  4. Susan Gaffney says:

    I might be mistaken, but I seem to remember somebody talking about sites of archeological interest within the forest. If they exist I feel strongly that the community should exploit them to max as visitor attractions.

    I also recall at early “forest” meetings that someone made the interesting proposal that there should be a teepee or yurt holiday village.

    I should like there to be bridle paths.

    Affordable housing, hmm, what is that precisely?

  5. Russell says:

    Hi Susan,

    Thanks for your comments!

    There are indeed sites of archaeological interest in the forest – namely a neolithic chambered cairn and also the site of excavations which uncovered evidence of several phases of human habitation. I am talking to archaeology Scotland this week about the possibility of registering with their ‘Adopt-a-Monument’ scheme which would offer us assistance in exploiting them as visitor attractions. I am going up into the forest this week to take a look but at the moment I think they aren’t too easy to find.

    The method of delivering affordable housing is yet to be decided – it could involve entering a partnership with a Registered Social Landlord, or the Trust itself becoming one.

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