As of this February all planning applications, including drawings, are now available on-line. This means that all applications are available to view by the public without having to visit a planning office; the service is accessed by going to www.dumgal.gov.uk/planning and click ePlanning.
We have had the usual mixed bag of applications to look at, these mostly being alterations and extensions.
The Crichton Royal, Dumfries
Dumfries College, now situated on the Crichton Campus, wished to convert the original football pitch into an all-weather arena. The horrific proposal was to lay bright green Astroturf in place of grass, surround it with link fencing and light it with arc lights on poles. As this was an intrusion into the historic landscape we objected along with others and it was refused.
The Old Woodlands School, Newtown Stewart
This Georgian house with Victorian extensions was left empty, vandalised and then burnt out. Recently the site has been acquired by Loreburn Housing who wish to demolish the house and build social housing on the site. The house unfortunately is not listed but is one of the original grand houses in Corsbie Road. The house next door, Doon Hill, is being restored; the Woodlands shell could easily be incorporated into the housing scheme retaining the character of this area. Unless this wanton destruction of historic houses in Dumfries & Galloway is stopped, all we will be left with are modern boxes with little character. Unfortunately this is happening all over the region, especially in Dumfries. So please add your voice to the objections when demolition is proposed.
Low's Shop, Castle Douglas
Sadly this well known newsagents shop in King Street has closed after about 100 years of trading. It is a complete time warp as little has been altered. The shop is still lined out with dark match boarding complete with mahogany counters. One drawer still contains the original till with removable pots for the coins. At the rear of the shop where the invoices were prepared, the original address machine is still on a shelf with the address plates in a nearby drawer. Calendars from the 1970s are also still on the walls. At the moment there are no plans for the shop as the owner, now retired, still lives above.
St John's Episcopalian Church, Dumfries
Much good work has been carried out on this church. The original entrance has been opened up through the tower. Engraved glass panels have been inserted into the new doors. These have been beautifully crafted by David Guilland, (glass engraver from Dumfries now sadly retired.) Recently it was decided to check that the supporting framework for the single bell was up to strength. It was found to be in a weakened state; it was decided that a new frame was urgently required. The tower was originally constructed for a full peal of bells. The firm who repaired the bell frame also recently removed bells from the Quarrier Homes church; these would be available and could be re-housed in St John's. This has been taken up with great enthusiasm, so hopefully a visit to the church will see and hear these in action.