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Foreshore Redevelopment - Update?
24/11/05

Forum Meeting, 17 November 2005

Representatives from ING Real Estates (Fer Dijkstra) and Falkirk Council attended Bo'ness area forum meeting held in Kinneil Primary School last Thursday 17 November.

The expectation was that a presentation was to be given by ING/FC to update the Bo'ness public on the progress of the foreshore development initially launched almost 12 months ago.

However, a good crowd of assembled residents were informed that rather than any presentation, and in response to questions raised at previous Forum meeting, what was to be held was a question and answer session to answer these questions and clarify the present position.

Queen Mary Block of Flats

Unfortunately, although welcome, the only new information that was outlined was that an outline planning application, for the re-development of the Queen Mary Block, had been lodged on the day of the meeting.

It was expected work would begin sometime early in the spring of next year (2006).

Parking

The question of parking for new residents of the Queen Mary Block was raised but it was clear from the answer that it had not been fully considered.

The suggestion was that parking could be considered on the opposite side of the road where new parking facilities had already been created.

Graveyard

It was pointed out that the area to the immediate north was, in fact, a graveyard for victims of the second Cholera outbreak in 1851, the gravestones, which lie flat on the ground, can still be seen. The developers conceded that further work would have to done as the project developed.

£150m Regeneration Plan

Both Falkirk Council and ING confirmed the regeneration of the foreshore was on schedule with planning applications being studied by Falkirk Council but there was still issues to be overcome.

Marina Development

Also confirmed was that a number of outline planning applications had been submitted in June relating to harbour/docks area but they were a modified version of the original proposals outlined at launch last November.

Technical & Cost Issues

The reasons for the changes related to the problems associated with long term dredging requirements, contaminants found in the silt and the associated costs of both dredging and disposal of contaminated mud.

The solution, as submitted in the planning applications, was to raise the height of harbour and dock walls and install a lock gate to maintain the water level.

Concerns

A number of concerns were raised that if the original plans were not properly carried out then the expected and important benefits to the town of an easily accessible harbour/dock would not be realised.

Alternative Plan

It was highlighted from the floor that reclaimation of land was being sucessfully carried out at a development in Leith and that some rumours had been circulating that similar possibilities had been considered for the Bo'ness development.

Alternative Plan
(for web, 1.2mb)
Alternative Plan
(for print, 6.5mb)

Additional Housing Necessary

Fer Dijkstra, ING Real Estate UK, agreed that consideration had been given to reclaiming land north of the dock area but that it was an expensive option and would involve the building of additional housing on the reclaimed area to justify the costs involved.

It was acknowledged if such a plan were to be undertaken then contaminated material from the harbour and docks could form part of the infill but would also need large quantities of additional infill material brought in.

Contamination

During the question and answer session it was confirmed that the contamination was largely hydrocarbon based and the byproduct of the town's industrial past.

There was an impression given, perhaps inadvertantly, that the level of contamination was not as high as had been feared or anticipated.

Submitted Plans Only Ones on the Table

These proposals, however, were not on the table with the existing submitted planning applications the only ones currently in the planning process.

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