Friday, December 18, 2009

Victoria Park concerns - feedback from the Director of Education

As reported in tonight's 'Evening Telegraph', the City Council's Director of Education has responded to me about the department's proposals for use of Victoria Park by the schools on the proposed shared campus on the former Logie Secondary School site as follows :

"You are correct that this project will need to come forward as a planning application which will allow for public comment and consultation. As you are aware, the new planning regulations now give easier opportunity for anyone who wishes to make comment. The planning application process for the new primary school in Whitfield was our first opportunity to test out the new regulations in Dundee and this worked extremely well, including two public exhibitions with officers on site to answer questions.

I want to emphasise that no major take over of any of the park space is envisaged. Primary schools in Dundee who do not have dedicated playing fields occasionally make use of park space for events such as sports days and football matches, but their use tends to be rare. I do not envisage the new West End campus requiring anything more frequent in Victoria Park. Because of that, there are no proposals to erect fences, and the statement I have read in the press about a possible all-weather facility is quite simply wrong - no such facility is proposed.

I am intending that the outcome of my discussions with Stewart Murdoch (Director of Leisure and Communities) should be taken to the West End Project Board, which as you know will contain representatives from a number of stakeholders. You will also remember that Chris Ward (Assistant Chief Executive) is chairing that group and intends calling the first meeting in late January.

With regard to consultation, parents are represented on the Project Board and will have an opportunity to express their views. I would also have no objection to an organisation such as Friends of Balgay Park being represented on the Local Implementation Group, the first meeting of which will take place after the initial meeting of the Project Board."