D&G Council Looking At Future Housing Provision For Dumfries Town Centre

At the March 2023 meeting of Economy and Resources Committee (E&R), Members agreed to allocate a £1million Town Centre Living Fund budget that aims to increase the provision of high-quality accommodation.

Members of E&R Committee (5 September) will receive a report on the work being carried out between the Council and Dumfries Partnership Action Group (DPAG). DPAG is a unique collaboration of Dumfries based businesses, community organisations and social enterprises with Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) status. It has worked with the Council to draft a 10 year vision and action plan for Dumfries town centre.

A Housing Need and Demand Assessment (HNDA) estimates the number of additional housing units to meet existing and future housing need and demand. It also captures information on the operation of the housing system which can be used to assist local authorities develop policies on new housing supply, management of existing stock and the provision of housing-related services. It is used to inform policy development, decision making and the use of resources.

A Housing Market Partnership (HMP) has been established to oversee the development, production and sign-off of the HNDA. Membership of our region’s HMP includes representatives from registered social landlords, the private housing sector, the NHS and Integrated Joint Board, gypsy travellers, private rented sector, South of Scotland Enterprise, the Councils homeless, economic development, planning and strategic housing services.

The DDD document identifies 5 key place themes that see Dumfries as a place to: Live and Belong; Visit and Experience; Work, Learn and Do Business; Access, be Active and Green; and Grow and Play. Each of these themes is supported by series of drivers which emerged from the extensive engagement process.

To focus delivery and investment, the document also identifies several priority activity areas – High Street, the river and Whitesands, Friars Vennel and Bank Street, independent shopping streets, Shakespeare Street / Nith Place and arrival points and improving connections.

Chair of Economy and Resources Committee, Councillor Ian Carruthers said: “We need to ensure that the housing target meets the housing needs of the people living in the region, but we acknowledge that further engagement is required with town centre stakeholders to develop short, medium and long-term actions that will lead to real change. The future of housing means that we need to plan sustainable, modern homes which are fit for the needs of residents; homes that meet people’s needs and promote physical and mental wellbeing, and the creation of sustainable communities.”
Councillor David Inglis, Vice Chair of Economy and Resources Committee said: “Between January and March 2023 the Scottish Futures Trust facilitated a series of workshops engaging Dumfries stakeholders to evaluate the effectiveness and future of its place-based and collaborative approach to regeneration. This confirmed Dumfries as a national exemplar with DPAG and the DDD Action Plan at the core of the future success of the town centre. Very well done to all who participated.”

To read the report in full go to: Agenda for Economy and Resources Committee on Tuesday, 5th September, 2023, 10.30 am – Dumfries and Galloway Council (moderngov.co.uk)

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