About the Final Survey
This document explains the structure of the final survey for Callander’s Place Plan consultation, and it provides background information on the questions.
Question 1 is about you:
- You must provide your postcode as proof of residency in Callander, otherwise your survey response won’t be counted.
- You don’t have to provide your name and email address unless you want us to update you on the progress of the Plan. Any details you do provide will be held securely, used only for the purpose of communicating with you about the Place Plan, and will be deleted when the Place Plan is published.
Questions 2 to 36 form the main part of the survey.
Earlier this year we ran a public consultation asking local residents, high school students and businesses what you thought about Callander and what you would like to see change. We received 2,521 suggestions covering 251 issues.
For this final survey, we have grouped together complementary suggestions into 35 proposals, each of which aligns with Scottish Government policies. This is important because we need to be able to defend our community’s wishes to the National Park and Stirling Council whose development activities in Callander are guided by the same policies.
These proposals are presented in questions 2 to 36. They are arranged under 11 themes:
- Active Travel
- Recreation and Play
- Parking and Traffic
- Main Street
- Young People and Families
- Public Services
- Climate Change and the Environment
- Homes and Planning
We are asking you to indicate whether you support the proposals by ticking “Yes”, “No” or “I don’t have an opinion on this”.
Proposals that have the support of the majority of local residents will be included in Callander’s Place Plan, the official document that will state our community’s wishes on local development for the next ten years.
Background information on questions 2 to 36
In the drop-down menu we look at the themes and explain the reasoning behind each question. We are doing this to help you decide if you support each proposal.
This question asks if you support a second pedestrian bridge being built across the river at the east end of town. The suggestion came up time and again in the first consultation, and preliminary discussions have been taking place with the Park and Stirling. If we can prove that the community supports this proposal, then there is a good chance that Callander will finally get a second footbridge.
Disabled access is Callander is poor; and pavements are uneven or – in parts of the east end – non-existent. Pedestrians don’t feel safe walking at night because lighting along paths is inadequate. There is also an urgent need for more safe pedestrian crossings on the A84 and A81.
It has just been announced that approval has been granted for a cycle path between Doune and the Burn of Cambus (west of Buchany). This will be part of the Sustrans National Cycle Network and will connect to Callander via Drumloist Road (a farm track north of the A84). Upgrading our own paths and signage will encourage more people to get out and about by bike and lead to more and better off-road routes and connections.
In the first Place Plan survey, public transport scored lower than any other service. We propose that Callander and our neighbouring communities could improve public transport by working together on a joint community-run service.
Recreation and Play
Regeneration of the Meadows is a major proposal for the town. The Meadows have been neglected for years and have become an eyesore. A comprehensive plan on regeneration and upkeep would benefit residents and visitors, and it would give us a riverside space to be proud of.
Callander Thistle and Callander Cricket Club need everyone’s support for their proposal to create a multi-sports facility on the field at Lagrannoch. The National Park has told them that the land is allocated for mixed commercial use and there are no plans to change that. We all need to support this proposal and insist that the Park changes its mind.
The Primary School field was given to the people of Callander by the McLaren Educational Trust in 1894. The deeds state that the land should be used as a playing field in perpetuity; however, the National Park have never classified it as such in their Development Plans. We are suggesting that the National Park should designate the field as a public recreational space in all future Development Plans.
The 2011 Callander Charrette planned for a community field for events and performances. This is our chance to put the proposal into the Park’s next Development Plan.
Parking and Traffic
There are so many problems with parking and traffic that the only solution is to take a strategic look at how traffic flows through, and stops in, Callander.
We know that Stirling Council have multiple draft parking and traffic management plans that have been sitting on desks since 2018. It’s time to scrap these, and come up with a joined-up, workable plan to manage traffic in Callander.
Some of you said that the National Park and Stirling Council impose tourist management plans onto Callander without any consultation with the people who live here. This proposal places residents’ needs on an equal footing (at least) with those of tourists.
Camper van tourism generates an income for local businesses, and we should welcome this. A serviced facility would allow camper van users to recharge their batteries and empty their waste safely and without polluting the River Teith.
Over the past five years the number of residential properties being purchased for use as short-let accommodation has grown significantly. This has pushed up property prices in Callander, making it harder for local first-time buyers to afford a home.
We can’t control who buys a property in Callander, but we can ask that any new-build residential housing cannot be used in this way.
This proposal revisits the last Callander Action Plan and the 2011 Charrette, both of which indicated that locals wanted tourism in Callander to shift its focus onto our natural and local heritage.
The Main Street
The Main Street is one area where there are limited options for community action. We cannot dictate who opens a business here or what type of shops we have. Nor do we have any say over how much landlords charge in rent. These are all subject to market forces, not legislation.
Similarly, there is nothing the community can do about the Eagle building, which numerous respondents mentioned in the first survey. Nonetheless, the terrible state of that building highlights the need for better enforcement of planning permission, and the National Park and Stirling Council are currently seeking solutions.
What we can do as a community is look at ways in which the Main Street area itself could be improved and how Callander might attract new, more diverse businesses that serve the needs of locals, not just tourists. That is what this section of the survey addresses.
The Charrette set out a plan to create a more attractive Main Street. So far, neither the National Park nor Stirling Council has recognised that plan. This needs to change if Callander is to sustain itself as a tourist destination and encourage residents to shop locally.
This is self-explanatory.
This is self-explanatory.
Young People and Families
The changing nature of work means that employers’ workforce requirements are constantly evolving. Lifelong learning gives everyone an opportunity to acquire and update skills to give them a better chance in a changing employment market. A local workforce with 21st Century skills could also attract new employers to Callander.
The lack of early years childcare is a problem in Callander. Many parents have to pay upward of £1,000 per month, plus travel costs, to access childcare in Dunblane.
Callander residents and pupils at McLaren High recognise that young people need a place to go. Finding the right location and supervision will take time and energy but we think it is important to get the project started now.
Littering and dog fouling in public spaces have long been problems in Callander. Existing measures are inadequate, and gentle reminders about dog poo simply don’t work. These matters require urgent attention, and clearing up should not be left up to community volunteers. Callander needs the facilities and personnel to help make this a cleaner, healthier place for humans and animals.
Maintenance of social housing emerged as a concern in the first survey, particularly in relation to the deteriorating exterior finishes of the buildings at McLaren Terrace.
Many of you said that the recycling centre closes too early or opens too late. While we can’t expect 24/7 opening hours, the consensus was that this facility has become essential since bin collections were reduced. We should also consider that Lagrannoch is the nearest recycling centre for those living as far away as Tyndrum.
Crime has risen in Callander. This is an indisputable fact, supported by police figures. Following recent attacks and threatening behaviour by prowlers, many of you told us that you now feel unsafe walking in the town and along footpaths. Drug dealing and drugs use, alcohol-related crime and opportunistic theft have all increased and they are harming individuals and impacting the wider community. Current policing arrangements are inadequate and outdated, and they urgently need to be beefed up and suitably resourced.
Local people feel strongly that Stirling Council and the National Park ignore our views and make decisions for Callander that are often ill-advised or detrimental. This approach to statutory decision-making goes against the principle of community empowerment, contravenes Government advice, and needs to change.
The community supports the plan to develop St Kessog’s as a community hall and recognises the need for this facility. However, the renovating and repurposing the building will cost around £2.4 million. Our first survey found that residents feel that a B-plan is needed in case funding shortfalls jeopardise the whole project. The Primary School is the only other suitable building likely to be vacated in the foreseeable future.
Many of you commented that it’s impossible to keep up with local events and important issues because local information is published across numerous websites and social media pages. Some people don’t use the internet at all. Of those who do, many don’t use social media or don’t have time to sift through multiple outlets. A central information point would allow everyone to have access to all important local information at any time.
When storm Arwen hit Callander we were all without any power or access to mobile communications. The community rallied round and helped those who were vulnerable. However, this highlighted the fact that we have no formal local arrangements for coping with this kind of emergency when communications and outside help are not available. We need to establish a recognised place of safety and equip it in advance with everything needed to maintain emergency communications and offer people warmth, food, sanitation and safety in case of future crises.
Many of you expressed dissatisfaction that decisions on issues that affect us all are made without proper public consulation. Wider engagement and consultation with residents would help restore trust within the community.
A frequent comment in the last consultation was that “the same people run everything”. We also found that newer residents wanted to get more involved in the community but didn’t feel welcome. For Callander to flourish in the future, community bodies and groups need to encourage input from all residents and accept that diverse opinions and experience would greatly benefit the town.
Climate Change and the Environment
The new Woodland Group was set up to restore and maintain Callander’s woodlands. Their volunteers are doing important work on public access and sustainable habitats. They deserve community support.
This question is self-explanatory.
This question is self-explanatory.
This question is self-explanatory.
Homes and Planning
Many people commented that locals were not being given priority access to new rented social housing. Rural Stirling Housing Association denies this claim and say that local applicants were given first refusal on properties, but that housing was awarded on a points-based system. This is true for most rented social housing in Scotland.
A broader approach to development of affordable housing, including rent-to-buy and shared ownership, would allow people to get onto the housing ladder without the need for a points-based assessment.
Many of you said that new-build developments in Callander should offer a mixture of homes to cater for different life stages and accessibility requirements.
People commented that the Park’s development guidelines allow developers to get away with meeting minimal environmental standards in new-build developments. It was also felt that the design of some new-build developments has failed to respect the character of our existing built and natural environment. Both issues need to be addressed if Callander is to retain its character.