Vic­to­rian Pav­il­ion plans to go on show

Pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on canopy for An­caster Square

Stirling Observer - - FRONT PAGE - Chris Marzella

Am­bi­tious plans to build a £650,000 Vic­to­rian pav­il­ion in Cal­lan­der town cen­tre are to be made pub­lic.

The scheme has been de­vel­oped by Cal­lan­der man Tom Jones, with the aim of pro­vid­ing a cen­tral cov­ered area in the town cen­tre.

The plan is es­ti­mated at be­tween £600,000 and £650,000 and Mr Jones says he has al­ready man­aged to source around half of the amount needed to get the project off the ground.

He hopes it will pro­tect events from the el­e­ments that up un­til now have been washed out by the un­pre­dictable Scot­tish weather.

Mr Jones will un­veil his plan at an open day to be held on Oc­to­ber 1 from noon un­til 4pm in An­caster Square.

He en­vis­ages a pav­il­ion with a glass roof, sup­ported by iron pil­lars, fea­tur­ing a built–in au­dio sys­tem, power points, WiFi, light­ing, LED flood­lights, drainage, seat­ing, lit­ter bins and a dance floor.

Ma­te­ri­als for the con­struc­tion would be supplied by a com­pany based in Wi­gan.

If this pro­posal be­comes a re­al­ity the steps to St Kes­sog’s would have to be re­stored to the de­sign of their orig­i­nal and edged with new rail­ings to match the pav­il­ion while sur­face drainage mea­sures would be re­quired.

An­caster Square would also have to be lev­elled and resur­faced and its hoped that the pav­il­ion will be built in such as way that it will blend in with the sur­round­ing build­ings and the for­mer St Kes­sog’s Church.

Clan­ranald Trust, who owns St Kes­sog’s, have sig­nalled their in­ten­tion to sup­port the pro­posal.

Mr Jones, who is chair­man of Cal­lan­der Pipe Band and the town’s Bri­tish Le­gion branch and runs the High­land Guest House in Cal­lan­der, said: “I first thought about a cover for An­caster Square when I moved to Cal­lan­der seven years ago.

“I play in Cal­lan­der Brass and our con­certs are of­ten in­ter­rupted or can­celled be­cause of the weather. The same is true for per­for­mances by Cal­lan­der Pipe Band.

“We at the Bri­tish Le­gion, in com­mon with many com­mu­nity groups and or­gan­i­sa­tions, reg­u­larly hold tombola stalls and fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties in the square.

“It’s also the lo­ca­tion for Cal­lan­der’s an­nual Sum­mer­fest, jazz fes­ti­val, and Win­ter­fest.

“All of these events are also fre­quently ad­versely af­fected by the weather.

“The list of pos­si­ble uses for the pro­posed pav­il­ion are nu­mer­ous, as are the ben­e­fits to many or­gan­i­sa­tions and in­di­vid­u­als within the com­mu­nity, and to day vis­i­tors and tourists alike.

“About four years ago, I was aware that there were a cou­ple of other ideas for pro­vid­ing cover for An­caster Square un­der dis­cus­sion, so I thought it best to leave my vi­sion for a pav­il­ion aside, un­til the other con­cepts had run their course. “

And he added: “I have no hid­den agenda – sim­ply a de­sire to give Cal­lan­der a vi­brant hub in the cen­tre of our town, for com­mu­nity ac­tiv­i­ties.”

The plan was laid be­fore Cal­lan­der Com­mu­nity Coun­cil at its monthly meet­ing last week.

Cal­lan­der Com­mu­nity Coun­cil chair­man Richard John­son said: “Cal­lan­der Com­mu­nity Coun­cil has been look­ing into op­tions for a cover over North An­caster Square so we wel­come the new ideas be­ing pro­posed by Tom. The square is an im­por­tant part of our com­mu­nity and the sur­round­ing build­ings, in­clud­ing St Kes­sog’s are im­por­tant to be re­tained for their his­tor­i­cal value.

“But we must also con­sider the peo­ple who live in the square.

“As a fa­cil­ity for Cal­lan­der a cover would ben­e­fit the out­door events which take place in all weath­ers through the year and it would be part of our larger plan to ‘weath­er­proof ’ Cal­lan­der.

“We need to get the right de­sign for such a struc­ture with a ro­bust plan for the long term own­er­ship and main­te­nance.

“Other de­signs have been looked at and we hope to or­gan­ise a full con­sul­ta­tion with the com­mu­nity when we have more de­tails of Tom’s de­sign.”

Trossachs and Teith coun­cil­lor, Martin Earl added: “Mr Jones has put in a huge amount of work into this pro­posal and that should be ac­knowl­edged. This is a re­ally in­ter­est­ing pro­posal, one that could trans­form the cen­tre of Cal­lan­der and make the square an all-weather space. I look for­ward to hear­ing peo­ple’s views and see­ing the de­tailed de­signs.”

The com­mu­nity coun­cil pre­vi­ously sub­mit­ted their own ap­pli­ca­tion to erect a canopy in the square.

The pro­posal for the pav­il­ion has yet to be sub­mit­ted to plan­ners at Loch Lomond and the Trossachs Na­tional Park but will be placed on hold un­til af­ter the open day and com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion.

Feed­back on the pro­posal and re­sponses can be sent to Mr Jones, 8 South Church Street, Cal­lan­der, FK17 8BN; or email den­nisjones@ the­high­landguest­

Weather mis­ery Tom Jones

Blue­print Pro­pos­als for Vic­to­rian-style glass pav­il­ion in An­caster Square to be un­veiled

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