Orkney Islands Council
Working together for a better Orkney

Your Kirkwall - local people asked for their views

Your Kirkwall - local people asked for their views
05 April 2018

Orkney Islands Council is inviting feedback on a plan for how Kirkwall could develop in future that has emerged from an ideas-gathering exercise held earlier this year.

A six-week consultation begins today (Thursday 4 April).

The aim of the Your Kirkwall project was to generate a shared vision for the town that reflected the views of the community at large and highlighted projects people would like to see happen or take forward themselves.

Delivered by OIC with support from PAS, a charity and social enterprise specialising in community engagement, the project has resulted in a draft Your Kirkwall Urban Design Framework.

This reflects the views of local people, having been developed through a community survey and a series of engagement events over the last few months involving school pupils, residents, local businesses, voluntary organisations, community councils and other community groups.

People across the county are encouraged to provide feedback on the draft plan during a six-week consultation, which begins on Thursday 5 April. You can do this through the Your Kirkwall website or by writing to the Council. The document includes 17 questions to guide people through the draft plan.

Among a wealth of ideas and ambitions put forward by the community during the Your Kirkwall exercise were:

  • A need to retain historic features and celebrate Kirkwall’s heritage, while introducing more colour into the town.
  • Making use where possible of brownfield sites within Kirkwall for future development.
  • Measures to make it easier to move around by bike and on foot.
  • The creation of more green and sheltered social space, including space for children and young people.
  • The need to address traffic and parking issues in some parts of the town.

Kirkwall Councillor and Depute Council Leader, Leslie Manson, said: “Kirkwall is an important location for jobs, recreation, commerce and housing, and a hub for Orkney’s economy and social activities. A successful Kirkwall contributes to a successful Orkney.

“The town is a very special place with its own unique character. However, Kirkwall faces many challenges – growing demand for housing, the changing demographic with more older residents, and an increasing number of tourists and visitors.

“It is very important that there is a plan for Kirkwall which guides its development in the short, medium and longer term so that we can protect what we value about it and help to shape how it evolves in a responsible, sustainable and locally distinctive way.

“I welcome this document and value the way in which it captures the views of our residents. Changes can still be made – at this stage this is more a menu than a recipe for the future.

“I would encourage local people to contribute further feedback during the consultation, and I look forward to seeing how the updated version will influence Council plans and decisions over the coming years.”

The consultation runs until Thursday 17 May 2018. Paper copies are available at OIC customer services and the Orkney Library in Kirkwall and at the Warehouse Buildings in Stromness. Written feedback should be sent to Development and Marine Planning, Council Offices, School Place, Kirkwall KW15 1NY.