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September 29, 2010

Success for Stanley, I presume

A development trust from a Perthshire village has won special praise from the Scottish Government for its skills in mediating between developers, planners and local groups, particularly because this is an area where stalemate and stand-offs have been a feature in the past.  As a consequence the recently produced community plan – the result of detailed community consultation – has been given added weight by local and central government agencies. The first of the community’s priority projects has just received full funding

Richard Burdge , Courier

“The SDT has strengthened its position with the local community, the local authority and central government throughout the last year,” chairman Gavin Davey said. “Through its convincing community survey and engagement with the community it serves, the SDT is regarded as a model organisation for development trusts in this part of Scotland.”

Mr Davey revealed that the Scottish Government has also nominated Stanley as a test bed for a new mediation process to bring together developers, local authority planners, and community organisations in areas where developments are anticipated and previous stalemate has been experienced.

He added, “The SDT undertaking to serve and listen to the community played a large part in bringing the Scottish Government to this landmark decision. This exciting development could see significant community benefits for Stanley and the surrounding area and involve local people in the design of their village in the future.”

The historic Perthshire mill village of Stanley is to get its first official village walk — thanks to a project that has won the praise of the Scottish Government.

Work begins early next month to create the £28,000 path, which is to be called the Shiel Hill Walk.

The circular track will start on the Linn Road just down from Shielhill Farm, and end on Mill Street near its junction with King Street. It is described as a “pleasant 20 to 30 minute stroll” with a beautiful viewpoint over the River Tay.

Details have been unveiled by the Stanley Development Trust (SDT) which is to have its second annual meeting next week.

The need for a village walk was identified in a survey of local people’s wishes conducted for the SDT, and from that a community action plan was formed. The annual meeting will be told that the SDT’s community survey and subsequent action plan have been praised by Perth and Kinross Council as a blueprint for other development trusts to follow.

The Shiel Hill Walk will be constructed thanks to a £4000 grant from the Quality of Life Trust and secured support of £24,000 from the Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust. Work on the walk — surfacing, gates and stock fences — will be carried out by the council, and will take about a month to complete. A condition will be that the SDT pays for the upkeep of the walk.

Stanley resident Leslie Fraser, a director of the SDT, said, “We are very grateful not only to the Quality of Life Trust and Perth and Kinross Countryside Trust for funding the walk, but to the landowners and their tenant farmer for giving permission to allow the project to go ahead.

“The Shiel Hill walk will be a great asset for the village to be enjoyed — not only by locals, but by visitors.”