Is ‘Vision for Lanark’ blind to criticisms?

Plan for Delves Park
Plan for Delves Park

A councillor has rubbished much of the ‘Vision for Lanark’ town ‘re-birth’ scheme unveiled last week.

He has dismissed many parts of the town redevelopment blueprint, claiming that least one of its proposals will actually DAMAGE Lanark’s economy, rather than boosting it.

Independent Lanark councillor Ed Archer’s scathing remarks came in the wake of the unveiling of the scheme drawn up by an architect and town planner - proposals now being considered by the Lanark Community Development Trust.

The scheme includes a new bandstand for entertainment to be staged in a remodelled Delves Park, creating an ‘amphitheatre’ with a station behind it for a furnicular railway to take visitors to and from New Lanark.

There are also proposals to replace the road surface in Hyndford Place and surrounding streets with cobbbles, to give the area a more ‘olde-worlde’ traditional look.

The proposals also include turning the current car park in the Castlegate into a ‘market square’, these spaces being replaced by a car park at the head of Delves Park.

Councillor Archer said: “For a start, Lanark’s ancient streets NEVER had cobbles; it was all impacted earth roads until they were tarred over. Cobbles in the town centre would simply be a hazard for old folk trying to walk on them, especially when they were slippy, and car drivers wouldn’t thank you either.

“As for the open-air bandstand, how many times a year could you use that with Lanark’s weather? The same goes for the proposed open-air market

“The worst idea, however, is the railway down to New Lanark. That, for starters, doesn’t seem to take into account that you’d never get permission to put such a structure into a World Heritage Site. Even at the Delves Park end of it, you are still in the Buffer Zone around the site where developments 
are meant to be severely resticted.

“In addition, it would only take visitors AWAY from Lanark TO New Lanark by making it easier for them to get there, just using Lanark as a place to park their cars - the oppposite effect of the scheme’s main aim.”

He said that he did, however, support the proposals for a broader role for the Tolbooth.