Business As Usual During Streetscape Works

Work has started on the first phase of a £947,000 package of town centre improvements in Dingwall.

The Highland Council has appointed Pat Munro (Alness) Ltd as contractors to implement streetscape works, which will last for approximately 12 weeks and will include the High Street from its western end to the museum. A second phase, to be completed in the spring, will complete the upgrade as far as the junction with Tulloch Street. WA Fairhurst & Partners (Inverness) have been appointed by the Council as consulting engineers for the work.

An allocation of £460,000 within The Highland Council Planning and Development Service Capital Programme has enabled additional funding of £462,000 to be secured through the Scottish Government Town Centre Regeneration Fund. In addition to the core streetscape project, other measures will be implemented for the improvement of signage, visitor information and key vennels adjoining the High Street.

During the streetscape works, temporary traffic measures will be in place, including the closure of the High Street to all vehicular traffic. Pedestrian access will be maintained to all shops, during trading hours, for the duration of the project. Shops and businesses will be open for “business as usual” during the works.

The Council is working closely with representatives of the Dingwall community through regular stakeholders’ meetings to discuss practical issues arising while the works are on site. The Stakeholders Group comprises representatives of the Community Council, Dingwall Business Association, Dingwall in Bloom, Dingwall Farmers Market and Ross & Cromarty Disability Access Group. Members of the public are welcome to raise matters with these representatives whose contact details, together with those of the relevant Council officers, are available from Ross House Service Point, where the design plan for the works can also be viewed.

Commenting on behalf of the Community Council, Chairman Nigel Greenwood said: “We welcome the commencement of the works and look forward to successful liaison with the contractor and the team throughout the construction period.”

The popular Farmers' Market will be relocated while the works are being undertaken. For October and November, the markets will have a temporary home in Mayfield Car Park, just off the main ring road on the way to Tescos. Elaina Hermitage, Market Co-ordinator, commented: "We hope all our customers will be able to find us in our 'new home' for the next few months, but we are really looking forward to returning to a nice new High Street in December in time for our Christmas market."

Dingwall and Seaforth Councillors Peter Cairns, David Chisholm, Angela MacLean and Margaret Paterson are unanimous in their support for this project and said that although they appreciate that there will be disruption during the works, they have been given reassurances that this will be kept to a minimum and they confident that Dingwall will benefit greatly from this significant facelift.  The message they want to highlight is that Dingwall is very much still open for business.

Shops will remain open for business as usual and the Council is liaising directly with the organisers of other regular events to assist them to make alternative arrangements during the period of the works.

Speaking on behalf of local businesses, Coleen Mackenzie said: "The Dingwall Business Association are looking forward to the benefits that the improvements on the High Street will bring to Dingwall. We hope to continue working with the Council in a positive manner to revitalise the heart of our town."

Other details relating to the works are as follows:

• Contractor working hours will generally be from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and Saturday 8am to 1pm although Saturday working is at the discretion of contractor. There may be some evening working to 8pm to complete pavement work adjoining shop fronts.  There is to be no Sunday working.

• A road closure will be in place on Dingwall High Street for the duration of the works with partial vehicular access for residents and deliveries to businesses being maintained in liaison with the contractor. The extent of the works will be from the West Gateway entrance to the High Street extending to the West boundary edge of the museum building, a length of approximately 165 metres. Works will be required over the full width of the High Street between building frontages. The road closure will apply between the West Gateway entrance and the junction with Church Street.

• The section of the High Street to the East of Church Street will remain open with access via Church Street.

• While the road closure is in place, the contractor will phase construction so that vehicular access is maintained to the private parking areas at Mayfield Court and Stafford Place, either from the West (A862) or the East (Church Street), with a one way system being reversed where required.

• Representatives of both Munros and The Highland Council will liaise with properties directly affected to ensure adequate vehicular access for residents and deliveries.

ENDS

16 Sep 2009
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