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Cross Party Group on Towns and Town Centres: Town Centre Living

Town Centre Living (TCL) is a key policy aspiration for the Scottish Government, local authorities and a wide range of other public, private and third sector bodies. It builds upon strong foundations of strategic place planning and supports key principles around inclusion, wellbeing and sustainability. The development of housing that brings more people to live within our town centres can have a major role in creating strong and sustainable places, as well as supporting key policy aims around active travel, affordable and independent living, walkable neighbourhoods, the wellbeing economy, net zero, and the re-use of existing built assets. TCL can underpin the resilience of many of Scotland’s places, but it needs to be done in a way that delivers the right homes, in the right places, for the right reasons.

There has, however, been limited TCL activity across Scotland and some towns where there has been little, or even no, new town centre housing development for a very long time. Over Summer and Autumn 2022, a Short Life Working Group formed to investigate the issues with, and opportunities for, the delivery of more town centre housing.  

The resulting report, presenting a summary of the findings of the group,, will be discussed by Mhairi Donaghy at the CPG and presents a summary of the findings of the group.  The key message is that it’s complex but not impossible. 

We will hear from two examples illustrating the aim of harnessing the economic, demographic, wellbeing and net zero opportunities that TCL offers.   Learn from the challenges faced and positive outcomes achieved or in progress – helping support delivery of new TCL proposals and improve current proposals – to do more and do better.

Agenda

12:30 Welcome and Opening Remarks – Meghan Gallacher MSP, Convenor, and Katy Clark MSP, Deputy Convenor

12:35    Minute of last meeting held 20th September and Matters Arising – Meghan Gallacher MSP, Convener and Katy Clark MSP, Deputy Convener

12:40    Town Centre Living: An Overview – Kimberley Guthrie, Interim Chief Officer, Scotland’s Towns Partnership

12:45    Town Centre Living Report and Progress Update – Mhairi Donaghy, Associate Director, Scottish Futures Trust

13:00    Case Study: Wheatley Group – Alan Glasgow, MD of Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership, Wheatley Homes South

13:10    Case Study: Renfrewshire Council – Alasdair Morrison, Head of Economy and Development.

13:20    Discussion and Any Other Competent Business  

13:30    Close of Meeting