Bold plan for woods

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The proposal to consider a community development at Whitehouse Woods is good news.

For more than 30 years, the prime site in Lamlash has lain derelict and unloved, the Whitehouse Hotel long gone and forgotten.

The planned feasibility study by Lamlash Improvements Association may just be a small start, but it could sow the seeds for something remarkable.

Imagine if the site could be bought by the community to build a community centre, provide a range of affordable homes and develop an accessible park.

It is not an impossible dream. Arran Development Trust raised £3 million to build 18 affordable rental homes in Lamlash, a project stalled by the pandemic, while the Lochranza community is pressing ahead with a bid to buy the Lochranza Hotel.

What is needed in the first instance is for the whole village to get behind the plans.

Lamlash Improvements have pledged to speak to village residents and businesses to find out exactly what they would like to see the site used for and are willing to listen to all ideas.

They also respect that the site, rumoured to have once been the home of Lamlash Castle, has environmental and ecological sensitivities. Therefore, the feasibility study will include tree and ecology surveys, an archaeological study as well as ground surveys and studies.

At this early stage we wish the project well.