Have your say on Argyll and Bute’s historic environment

The Palace Buildings in East Princes Street - or Duncan's Halls, to give them their official name - received significant investment through Rothesay's Townscape Heritage Initiative.
The Palace Buildings in East Princes Street - or Duncan's Halls, to give them their official name - received significant investment through Rothesay's Townscape Heritage Initiative.

Is Rothesay’s historic environment one of the jewels in Bute’s crown - or do heritage concerns too often stand in the way of the island’s economic development?

Whatever you think, now is the chance to share your view with Argyll and Bute Council - whose planning policies have made plenty of local headlines in recent years - as the authority prepares to launch its new ‘historic environment strategy’.

The strategy aims to provide an overarching framework which will help the council and communities positively manage and benefit from the historic environment, and includes an action plan with real practical measures for delivery over the next five years.

A council-led Townscape Heritage Initiative has seen substantial sums invested in the built environment in the centre of Rothesay in the last three years - though some developers have found themselves frustrated by policies on, for example, replacement windows, which have led to run-ins with the authority’s officials.

Consultation on the strategy - which can be found by clicking here - is now open, and runs until Monday, September 14.

Councillor David Kinniburgh, policy lead for planning and regulatory services, said: “This is the first time we’ve produced something like this and we are eager to hear the views of all stakeholders, from arts, heritage and culture organisations to funding partners and the general public.

“People can give their comments online via a specially developed response form. If we have a really high level of response we could look at hosting specific workshops/focus groups to discuss different elements of the proposals.

“Argyll and Bute’s unique built heritage belongs to all of us, which is why the council wants the input of the community into this new strategy.

“Community engagement has been a real hallmark of our townscape heritage initiatives in Rothesay and Campbeltown and we want to replicate that in the development of this area-wide, inclusive strategy.

“We welcome all constructive feedback and will use it to inform the completed strategy, which should be published by the end of this year.”