Moffat is doing is what I call real town planning: a Community Action Plan that considers how to plan a better community in the round. Not just physical things like land use and buildings, but also how to directly support activity by the third sector, private sector and public sector.
Communities aren’t just streets and buildings, they are people and activity too. So, to my mind, a plan for a town should encompass all of those things.
The recently completed Moffat and Beattock Community Action Plan, which I worked on with Willie Miller Urban Design, Icecream Architecture and 4-Consulting, is a good example of this in action. You can read all about the Plan in this post by Willie Miller. The dedicated Facebook page we set up to help prepare the plan tells the full story.
Creating a good plan wasn’t just down to us. It was borne of community action and community participation. Moffat and Beattock are both forward-thinking, active communities. For some people, that might be borne out of frustration with inaction by others; no matter. The point is that people in the local community are getting funding, preparing plans and getting on with implementing them. They are an example to us all.
Moffat in particular is forging ahead with implementation of the Community Action Plan that was finished at the very end of last year.
A fortnight ago, the Moffat Summit took place with influential people from the local community, the local authority and national organisations coming together to agree what aspects of the Plan to focus their energy on. Discussions are now taking place with the local authority on collaborative working – a major step forward.
And just last week, windfarm developer SSE Renewables opened a £400,000 pot of funding to applications from the local community – with the Community Action Plan being the mechanism to make decisions about how funding is distributed.
Moffat is moving forward. We wish them all the best with their work, and we’re ready to help as needed. Rewarding though it was for us to work with the local community to produce the Plan, what’s even more rewarding is that the Plan isn’t sitting on a shelf. There’s real action happening.