Auchterarder chair defends town plans
THE chairman of Auchterarder and District Community Council has hit back at comments he was "belittling" the town with an action plan for the area.
Getting tough on parking, Euan MacIntosh told the Strathallan Times this will be the community council's main focus over the coming months - and therefore will help to better the High Street.
Acknowledging the community want to develop and market the town as a tourist destination in time for the Ryder Cup Euan said the only way to do this was to first tackle the long running saga of parking in the town.
He proposed they discard all other options suggested so far and go with converting the top part of the John Muir Park into a car park and the bottom part into a rose garden.
Hoping to create a Diamond Jubliee and much-needed parking facilities he said 60-80 cars could fit in the park without impinging on the football area.
The chairman came under fire recently following his comments at a community council meeting which criticised the condition of properties on the main thoroughfare of the town.
He said: "The appearance of the High Street is down to individuals - they are shabby and badly maintained and the premises are a bit of a worry. I don't know what we can do about it. The town could pick up lots of money from the Ryder Cup if we make the most of it."
His comments angered a number of residents and traders in the town who felt he did not "motivate or encourage" the community or "support" the town as chairman for the area - but instead "offended" many who contacted the Strathallan Times.
Euan said: "The aim for my colleagues and I is to better the town and High Street. This is our goal for the up and coming months as we realise how important it is to the community. But before we can tackle the look of the town - which we have lots of ideas for, including working with the Auchterarder Bloom Association - we must sort out the parking.
"The parking committee published an excellent document in June 2010 and since then nothing has been done.
"Obviously there will be objections for converting the John Muir Park and there are practical issues to resolve but the real issue here is parking. I think another survey would be a waste of time and this option is the most suitable for the town.
"If we want the town to take advantage of the opportunities presented to us by the Ryder Cup in 2014, and of visitors in general, then we need to make it more accessible.
"This is what we want to push for and I will be making a recommendation to Perth and Kinross Council."
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