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
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
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
(for web, 1.2mb)
(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
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.
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
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.