Linkwood Development

I’ve blogged on this old sawmill site before, but just imagine – for a moment – what a group of committed volunteers with a little bit of funding could do.

The Carnegie Trust are offering £2500 to project designed to improve public spaces. This sad eyesore could become a place that everyone can enjoy and appreciate. Here’s what I’d do, if I won the award (look out for the photos at the bottom of this page which will help give a clearer idea of the plan).

1) Contact the landowners (Robertsons), offering the £2500 if they will agree to demolish the remnants of that old saw mill and remove the metal mesh barricade temporary fence which currently surrounds the site and is rather ugly. This alone would immediately improve the aesthetic appearance, brightening-up the four homes who live directly in the shadow of this huge wall and opening-up the whole area.

2) Advertise for and lead litter picks onto the site to pick-up all the detritus that no-one has been able to sort out in over three years. This would take a while, but again would help to make the whole area look more natural and appealing.

3) As part of a group, create a path that runs right through the area and allows people to explore this natural, ‘wildneress’ habitat.

4) Harvest the numerous bramble bushes in early autumn. If Asda can sell punnets of blackberries for about £2, then there’s a real potential to make money that could be funneled into improving the site.

5) Gathering volunteers to construct a proper fence, but note that the foliage already in existence creates a reasonable natural barrier.

6) Longer-term, parts of this area could be turned into allotment gardens.

7) Of course, anyone could buy and develop the site at any point, but no money would be wasted. Moreover, it’s unlikely that the site would be touched anytime soon as there are plenty of areas to build in Elgin and other parts desperately in need of regeneration.

The fact is I pass this derelict eyesore everyday and would jump at the chance to make a difference. So many people feel ‘down’ about their neighbourhood because the ruined relics of our more industrialized past still haunt us today. If we prioritize the redevelopment of these sites, I believe that we would majorly improve people’s mental (and physical) health. They would be more interested in going for walks and uplifted by the wonderful examples of natural life all around us. Councils are strapped for cash, but I hope that individuals, voluntary organisations and the likes of the Carnegie Trust can make miracles happen in the most run-down areas.

Packed with potential but needing funding and volunteers to make changes happen.

Packed with potential but needing funding and volunteers to make changes happen.

Next to the old saw mill is a empty retail unit.  I imagine this would be easier to rent-out if the area much tidier and neater.

Next to the old saw mill is a empty retail unit. I imagine this would be easier to rent-out if the area much tidier and neater.

One of the most unsightly fences ever designed by man!

One of the most unsightly fences ever designed by man!

Another patch of brambles that could be cultivated and harvested as a source of revenue.

Another patch of brambles that could be cultivated and harvested as a source of revenue.

View through a small hole in the wall.

View through a small hole in the wall.

Sadly, graffiti becomes a problem in run-down parts of a city.  I've heard the claim that the land is contaminated, but it still seems to provide good nesting for seagulls.  I'd rather risk   a clean-up than always have this blight on the landscape.

Sadly, graffiti becomes a problem in run-down parts of a city. I’ve heard the claim that the land is contaminated, but it still seems to provide good nesting for seagulls. I’d rather risk a clean-up than always have this blight on the landscape.

Ironically, Robertson stuck up this site, but there has been no sign of any "construction" in many years.   Why do Local Authorities allow companies to sit on land that is maintained so atrociously?

Ironically, Robertson stuck up this site, but there has been no sign of any “construction” in many years. Why do Local Authorities allow companies to sit on land that is maintained so atrociously?

Another view of the house that should have much more natural light and not border directly onto an abandoned factory wall.

Another view of the house that should have much more natural light and not border directly onto an abandoned factory wall.

House at the other end of the row.  As you can see, the large warehouse was partly ripped down.   The cause was violent winds around about Christmas Day 2013, but they show us a glimpse of what life could be like for these residents - if someone cared enough to finish the demolition job!

House at the other end of the row. As you can see, the large warehouse was partly ripped down. The cause was violent winds around about Christmas Day 2013, but they show us a glimpse of what life could be like for these residents – if someone cared enough to finish the demolition job!

One of the houses which borders directly onto the site of the old, derelict sawmill.  I feel so sorry for those live here as their view could be much better.

One of the houses which borders directly onto the site of the old, derelict sawmill. I feel so sorry for those live here as their view could be much better.

Another view of the obscene amounts of rubbish that deface this potentially beautiful landscape.

Another view of the obscene amounts of rubbish that deface this potentially beautiful landscape.

Litter behind ugly metal barricade that needs cleared-up but currently can't be reached.

Litter behind ugly metal barricade that needs cleared-up but currently can’t be reached.

View of trees and foliage in derelict site

View of trees and foliage in derelict site

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2 thoughts on “Linkwood Development

  1. Sadly, the Carnegie Trust did not decide to offer help for this project. However, I am trying to contact Robertson Construction and will keep you posted on any progress made.

  2. Pingback: Linkwood development: first steps | excalibrate

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