The Trust believes that a radical new strategy is needed for the city centre, led by the Council, to tackle the increasing number of shop vacancies and empty upper floor premises. We think that the retail core area will inevitably shrink due to competition from online sales and that other uses need to be encouraged. Promoting residential development, whether new or through building conversion, will bring more business to shops and restaurants while ensuring that cultural and civic activities are focussed in the centre will help make it the “must go” place for citizens and visitors.
The Trust supports the overall development principles of the Central Waterfront Masterplan and welcomes new investment to the city. We will continue our regular dialogue with the Council and developers, however, to argue for a higher quality of design in future developments than has been achieved on site 6 opposite V&A Dundee and the railway station. We are anxious that new development at the waterfront does not come at the expense of investment in the core city centre and urge that an appropriate balance be struck so that the central waterfront becomes a seamless extension of the city centre. Lack of adequate coach parking in the waterfront area is another concern with the city aspiring to be a major tourist destination.
Dundee Local Development Plan 2, adopted by the Council in February 2019, is the guide for the city’s development for the next decade. Although the Trust disagrees with some points of detail, we support the general principles of the Plan and will generally oppose developments that are not consistent with its policies. In particular, the Trust supports development of brownfield sites for new housing and other uses within the existing built up area of the city including the city centre. We also support greenfield development at the Western Gateway as opposed to the expansion of Broughty Ferry northwards and eastwards. Expansion there would put further pressure on school capacity and the ability of roads to cope with commuting to the city centre, Ninewells Hospital, the universities and other employment hubs to the west of the city. We also support the concentration of retailing in the existing established city and district centres and will oppose new developments outwith these. We hope to see no further development of out of centre retail parks.