December 2017


Welcome to the December Newsletter
Some of the keener readers of our newsletter will notice that we appear to have lost a month.  Yes, please accept our apologies, we are all volunteers and sometimes we are so busy that time just runs away from us.  And November and December have been incredibly busy months, with 3B submitting a formal planning application and our application to the Scottish Government to register a Community interest in the old Bank of Scotland progressing.

As 2017 draws to a close, 2018 is shaping up to be a busy time for us and the community of Wigtown and Bladnoch.

The Old Showfield

3b has submitted a formal planning application to build 43 houses with associated roads, parking, landscaping, etc.
Details of the application can be found on line
use the “search planning applications” link, and enter reference: 17/1984/FUL.
The Library should have a copy of the application as well.  D&G Council will make a decision about this application in the next few months.  Anyone is entitled to have their say about this but objections had to be in by December 7th.  However, please speak to your D&GC Councillors and let them know what you think.  

Some issues and questions you may wish to consider if you intend to make a submission to Dumfries & Galloway Council – to support or to object:
1.     Southfield Park is designated for 42 houses in the Local Development Plan;
2.     In 2007, Dumfries & Galloway Council was “minded to approve” plans for 34 houses, subject to waste water and surface water management being agreed;
3.     This is a big development, increasing the number of houses in Wigtown by 10%, possibly increasing the population and the number of cars by 10% or more;
4.     Is there any demand for housing like this? Houses are often on the market a long time before they sell in Wigtown; several houses around the area have been empty for years;  
5.     Is the proposed design of the houses in keeping with the historic nature of Wigtown and our reliance on tourism?
6.     What impact would the development have on heritage buildings like the prison house?
7.     Would houses along Harbour Road be over-looked and have afternoon / evening light blocked out by new houses across the road?
8.     Can local services like GPs, water supply, sewerage, the school and its nursery cope with so many more houses and people?
9.     How will traffic manage and how busy will it be for local residents during building and afterwards? 

The Old Bank of Scotland Building

The Scottish Land Reform Unit confirmed receipt of our application to register a Community Right to Buy for the old Bank of Scotland Building at the start of November.

The Bank of Scotland then had until the 29th November to contest the application and we have just been advised that no response has been received and therefore Scottish Ministers are currently considering the case.
We are hopeful that we will receive notification of the outcome before Christmas, but should certainly be notified before the 10th Jan 2018.

The Castle Community Bank

Some of the Directors of W&BCI together with the Rev Eric Boyle and Rev Stephen McGarva recently met with the Reverend Iain May who in 2015 established the Castle Community Bank.  Now with assets of over £1.2 million they provide not only savings and loan facilities but also manage an ATM.  80% of their members use the savings facility, whilst 20% make use of the loans.
Providing an ATM alongside savings and local loans was seen as a way of keeping money in the community, benefiting local businesses and services as well as residents.

Our Mission Statement

“Our mission is to bring neglected land and property into community ownership, in a sustainable way, to benefit and enhance the lives of the people living in and visiting Wigtown and Bladnoch. Let Wigtown Flourish.”

Meet A Director - Nick Walker

Nick is the Convenor of W&BCI.
"We are new to all this but have some very talented people on our Board. And we have had fantastic support and advice from Community Land Scotland, and from other communities who are further along this path - groups like the Mull of Galloway Trust."

Thank you for supporting the Wigtown and Bladnoch Community Initiative.

Find Out More by visiting our Website
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