GIRVAN’S shop front scheme looks set to charge ahead once again as “the point of no return” approaches for planning.
Girvan’s Town Team last month received a visit from South Ayrshire Council Enterprise Services representatives Mark Hastings and Alison Blair – who were also represented at Tuesday’s meeting of Girvan Community Council – and who informed members the start of the formal planning process was imminent.
The ‘Girvan shine’ project has been on the cards for over a year, and had previously stalled due to illness, the economic climate and issues involving planning and the amount of money available. But momentum for the project seems to have picked up with a planning push from the council.
At February’s meeting of Girvan Town Team Mr Hastings explained that planning applications would be submitted in three blocks – encompassing the commercial length of Dalrymple Street and the Bridge Street/harbour area, and including gable ends.
He confirmed the council would be willing to refund 100 per cent of the cost of improvements excluding VAT but including painting and minor works such as joinery and drainage repairs – up to £500 from a £50,000 budget, and had the means to get in touch with absentee landlords whose properties are in need of attention.
“We have had a sense from people who have been at previous meetings about what they think is desirable, and it is going to have a significant visual impact on the town,” Mr Hastings said.
With designs from conservation architects Robert Potter and Partners featuring a palette of seaside blues, greens and yellows, Mr Hastings said the project was about trying to develop a style for Girvan as a traditional seaside town.
Town Team vice-chair Helen Humphries said she was eager that the plans go ahead. “At a meeting back in August we said we were going to do this and I think we would like to get on with it,” she said.
And with a general consensus from members present, including a thorough endorsement from Councillor Alec Oattes, who described the scheme as a “fantastic opportunity for Girvan”, Girvan Shine was given the thumbs up to go ahead.
While Mr Hastings declined to confirm when paint would actually touch walls, he agreed to work as quickly as possible on getting the plans through the planning process, with an application expected to have gone in by April.
A meeting has been scheduled for Girvan’s retailers, businesses, and householders to hear more about the plans, and will take place on Monday March 11 at 6pm in the Catholic Hall, 19 Henrietta Street, Girvan.