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Call for big ideas for Dounby

Date: 19 May 2022

Photo of the Market Green in Dounby village.

Residents of Dounby are being urged to submit ideas and visions for development in their community, as part of ongoing work to create a ‘place plan’ to capture future ambitions for the village and surrounding area.

Working alongside the Birsay Community Council and Harray and Sandwick Community Council, Orkney Islands Council’s Development and Marine Planning team is once again seeking input from community members, to add to ideas already gathered at public consultation events before the pandemic.

Susan Shearer is Planning Manager (Development and Marine Planning) for the Council. She said: “Before the pandemic and periods of lockdown, we had Councillors and members of the community, including community councillors, come to us with ideas for Dounby and seeking advice on how to create a Place Plan for the area.

“Place Plans are community based plans that set out what the community would like to see happen in their area. It does need to look at the future development of land to be formally registered with the Council as planning authority. Place plans are taken into consideration when we review the Local Development Plan, which is Orkney’s main planning document.

“We’ve already received great ideas provided by the community through a stall at the Dounby Show and a consultation event at the Dounby Community School pre-COVID19.

“Now that the pandemic and restrictions have eased and we have staff resource again, we want to tease out any further ideas, before we start work with the community councils on a draft Plan for public consultation later this summer.

“From what’s been gathered already from the community so far, there is a focus on wanting Dounby to look better and therefore be a better place to live, work, socialise and visit.

“For example, many community members want to see the Market Green Area of the village look better for the community. Folk also want to have better opportunities for walking and cycling in and around Dounby. They want to see Dounby businesses prosper and benefit from tourism visitors that they feel don’t stop for long in the village at present.

“In a nutshell, the aim of a Place Plan is to make a local area a better place for all, by considering the location and type of changes and new developments a community wants to see.

“We’re really keen to hear from the community about their visions and ambitions for Dounby - all ideas are welcome, on topics and challenges such as play areas and public spaces, services and shops, supporting local businesses, connectivity and public transport, leisure and tourism, and climate change projects, to name a few. All comments are relevant, and we need to hear from you.”

Comments can be emailed to the Council at, with the subject line ‘Dounby Plan’ until 5pm on Monday 13 June.

Development and Marine Planning have already worked with communities in Orkney to produce ‘Your Kirkwall’ and ‘What’s Next for Stromness?’. As part of the review of the Local Development Plan, the Development and Marine Planning team wants to speak to communities to help them process their aspirations and ideas.

Susan adds: “The key with Place Plans or Community Plans is that the plan and the detail is driven by the community. This process is all about what the community wants to see when it comes to their communities. We are here to demystify the process for communities and support them. We are presently looking at staff resource and the potential to seek funding with communities so they can work with partners such as Voluntary Action Orkney, Planning Aid Scotland or other external consultants to drive change and draft plans.

“The role of the Dounby Plan is to improve Dounby for the community – that’s the key role. We are here to assist the community through the process of getting it approved as their Plan.”

More about Place Plans:

Place Plans are community-led plans setting out the actions and aspirations of a community for their places and they also have to consider new development and the use of land in their location.

Once completed and if registered with the Council, Place Plans are taken into account in preparation of Local Development Plans. Having a formal Place Plan can also help local communities secure funding and bring about change, by providing evidence of community consultation and support for various projects.

To find out more about Place Plans in your local community and how you can get involved, email the team.


  • Summary:

    Residents of Dounby are being urged to submit ideas and visions for development in their community, as part of ongoing work to create a ‘place plan’ to capture future ambitions for the village and surrounding area.

  • Category:
    • Community
    • Consultations
    • Planning and Building

School Place, Kirkwall, Orkney, KW15 1NY

Telephone: 01856 873535

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Orkney Islands Council: BOREAS DOMUS MARE AMICUS