Dunblane Town Centre Charrette Plus

10 July 2015 | blog, designing streets, town centres, working with communities

If nothing happens; High Street, Dunblane
In April 2015 Willie Miller Urban Design was part of a design team led by PAS, to develop a ‘Vision and Town Centre Action Plan’ for Dunblane Town Centre. It was the first community-led charrette in Scotland with the aim to develop, ‘… a spatial strategy that is integrated with community planning…’.

Project aims and objectives were set out in the funding application and include developing:

  • a shared realistic vision among key stakeholders for the future of Dunblane Town Centre
  • a community action plan supported by a spatial strategy
  • town centre and “environs” to be clearly defined for future investment and development
  • mapping of opportunities for potential asset transfer to the community

PAS undertook intensive pre-Charrette engagement and consulted with stakeholders, created an online and paper survey, facilitated youth workshops and held themed pre-Charrette agenda setting sessions. The Charrette ran for 4 days and was attended by almost 200 people. The main focus was around themes that emerged in the pre-Charrette consultation: traffic and parking, facilities and open space, business in the town centre, movement networks and the environment, upkeep and appearance and heritage. Daily workshop sessions identified priorities for action and potential solutions for current problems.
Dunblane Spatial Strategy
Public realm improvements along High Street were proposed in order to create a more pedestrian friendly and active environment. This in turn would help to reduce traffic speeds and encourage getting more business and people back into the town centre.
Dunblane High Street after adopting the Charrette Plus proposals
A surface change of the roundabout at the north end of High Street was proposed together with a reduction in carriageway width, giving more space to pedestrians and creating a café garden to support local economic activity.

A re-visioning of the dual carriageway running to the east of the town centre proposed slowing traffic by narrowing lanes, widening footpaths and providing cycle paths. This would create an all-around better pedestrian environment and reduce traffic dominance.
Dunblane Dual-carraigeway before

Dunblane Dual-carraigeway after

These proposals together with a range of other measures and recommendations including:

  • developing a long term vision for the future of Dunblane Town Centre
  • identifying a basis for developing a 3 year Community Action Plan
  • defining a spatial strategy for the Town Centre and environs
  • mapping opportunities for potential asset transfer to the community

Willie Miller, the founder and principal of WMUD, died on 12th January 2021 after a short illness. Willie was a much-loved husband and father and had a huge circle of friends  and professional colleagues. He was a multi-talented urban designer whose work had a major impact on hundreds of cities, towns and neighbourhoods throughout the UK and over the past 25 years. He also worked in Ireland, the Channel Islands and the USA.

Ines Triebel has been with WMUD since 2005, and she will continue the practice, drawing on her skills as a planner and designer. Ines has worked on place strategies, masterplans, policy guidance, regeneration and development frameworks, and the design of public realm and streetscape projects. She has extensive experience of working with communities, including charrettes.

WMUD will continue its long-standing strategic partnerships with Benton Scott-Simmons, Nick Wright Planning, Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture, yellow book and others. Please direct inquiries to Ines at [email protected] or contact any of the practices named above.