Local people in South Lanarkshire have reacted favourably to the plans for a new town on their doorstep and have welcomed the prospect of new jobs and investment
A survey by the research organisation Ipsos MORI following the launch and exhibition of the plans for Owenstown last month, has shown that unlike many major new developments, initial reactions in the area are very positive.
The town, which is planned for 2,000 acres of land south of Lanark, would have 20,000 residents and create around 8,000 jobs. It’s the first major project of the Hometown Foundation, a Scottish charity which has been formed to help to create sustainable communities and regenerate rundown urban areas.
The telephone survey found that very few people envisaged any detrimental impact on them or their family and believed it would be an appealing place to work. The researchers said that investment of this scale has been very rare in the area and therefore interest from local people is high.
Enthusiasm for the development was tempered only by some concerns about the pressure it might put on existing medical and sewerage services and it was felt more needed to be done to explain the concept of a co-operative community on which Owenstown will be based.
A small but significant number of people in the area expressed interest in working in Owenstown and they said priorities for improving the quality of life of people in the area included facilities for young people, more job opportunities and tackling crime or anti-social behaviour.
The survey is part of a detailed public consultation programme before an application for planning permission is submitted next year