Friday, 13 July 2012
On Wednesday, I had a very useful meeting with the City Council's Head of Planning, the council's Conservation Officer and a senior Buildings Standards Surveyor about my concerns regarding the state of the Queen Victoria Works site and we also had a detailed discussion regarding derelict or dilapidated buildings in other parts of the West End and across the city and how the City Council will seek to attempt to work with owners to bring these back into productive use.
In a positive sense, the officers confirmed a willingness to open a dialogue with the owners of Queen Victoria Works about the site's future. Clearly the economic downturn after 2008 has made the sale and development of the site more difficult, particularly given the particularly challenging situation for the construction industry, but City Council officers are willing to proactively engage in discussions with the owner over site options and one possible way of assisting is through the development of a Site Planning Brief for the works - this has been a way of encouraging development and future planning applications at other challenging sites across the city.
On the wider issue of derelict and dilapidated buildings in other parts of the West End and across Dundee as a whole, the City Council's Chief Executive has agreed to my request to re-establish a Derelict Land Working Group to identify such properties and look at ways of bringing specific sites back into use and having them improved.
Also on Wednesday, I had a very useful meeting with two senior members of the Education Department about the new staffing structure within the department.
Last night, along with our local police sergeant, I met with residents from Ancrum Drive at the Ancrum Outdoor Education Centre in Ancrum Road, to discuss progress with parking and related issues in the street.
It was a very positive and productive evening and I am grateful for the Tayside Police input into the meeting. Next month, a representative of the leading transport charity SUSTRANS has kindly agreed at my request to visit Dundee to look at traffic-related issues in particular parts of the West End where there are issues - such as Ancrum Drive and also in the Pentland estate. SUSTRANS has undertaken an excellent safer streets project in part of Kirkcaldy and the lessons from that project will assist in terms of trying to improve the traffic and parking issues in streets like Ancrum Drive.