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Transportation, Access and Parking Group report

Report from the Transportation, Access, Parking Group July 2023

Essentially we are questioning the need for more housing in Pineridge, and therefore do not see the need for more infrastructure or access roads.

In the age of de-growth and climate change we are not yet able to grow food for our existing population, nor have we managed to stop the use of fossil fuels. There is still much work to be done with upgrading our existing accommodation. We do have a precedent for one-to-one replacement of existing caravans or bungalows which we would like to continue to follow.

In Pineridge, for example, there is no precedent for de-constructing an existing, well-established neighbourhood in order to create more hypothetical housing. We would like to consider the culture and rights of the residents, both seen and unseen, in that well established ecosystem. If anything, a woodland forest could increase the diversity of species in that area.

In addition the main entrance to the Park, if protected on both sides of the road by a riparian wetland, should be safer from flooding, securing the well-being of the caravan park business.

The building of the community centre and the sanctuary are the highest priorities as they support the continued connection between the residents in the Park and they are sorely missed by everyone living here. Once they are built, consideration may be given to other structures by a democratic body that would fairly represent as many opinions and needs as possible of the people actually living in the Park.

We would recommend a central car park where visitors, dog walkers and guests could deposit their cars. The present system of parking on the runway could be eliminated increasing safety for pedestrians, children who play in that area, and bicycles. A system, such as golf carts might be considered if necessary. Also permits for residents could be issued for parking spaces in the different neighbourhoods.

Each neighbourhood has a cul-de-sac, turnarounds or dead ends so that some privacy is maintained and public areas are well-defined with signage. There are no roads circling around the Park – this needs to be avoided for the definition of private residential space, versus public space, an established principle in architecture and co-housing.

 

Re-Thinking the Suggested Access Roads into the Park through the Cullerne
Farm  July 2023

Replacing caravans on Pineridge, with permanent Eco-homes is an on-going process. Ideally, these replacements would be clustered, for sustainability more green space, and shared services. All new builds should be fossil fuel free in operation.

1. Pineridge has two established access routes, servicing the established plots, replacing caravans, on a one for one basis / home should be suitably serviced by existing access.
2. There is no requirement, or precedent, local interest in increasing the density beyond one -to -one replacement or less.
3. Two routes servicing Pineridge, 1 past the runway, and left at the strawbale house. In emergency, up from the field, and past the boutique. Etc. for emergency vehicles, etc, two routes exist for the established plot density.
4. The infrastructure, to support increased density in Pineridge, is not present. In particular, the road widths have been maintained narrow, keeping a quiet dead end home zone” feel to this predominantly residential area of the Park.
5. Increasing the road width in Pineridge, would fundamentally undermine its quiescent natural character, pedestrian and cycle led, access and children’s safety for non-motorists.
6. Connecting Pineridge, to top type access from Cullerne farm, would establish a loop road through the park, in this currently residential / access only area. Home zone development is well characterised by series of dead-end areas. Creating a connected loop, may lead to circular tourist traffic, The Findhorn 500 meters, a mini–North Coast 500.
7. The curve around Pineridge by the Barrels parking area, is a low visibility area, unsuitable for increased traffic, in particular, vehicles, going around Pineridge counter- clockwise have limited visibility of oncoming walkers, traffic, and bikes, which typically cut this corner on the downhill in the wrong lane. To improve this
visibility in this area, would require excess works, that would fundamentally alter the characteristic nature of the place.
8. There is no need to connect Pineridge to alternative access on one for one replacement basis.
9. Future plans at Cullerne farm, may be able to be access from the Cullerne farm entrance, with an in and out dead cul-de sac end home zone type layout, consistent with other successful in-out home zones in the park, i.e. the Field of Dreams, Bag end, the Barrels, Soillse, and the Whins.
10. No significant development in the central area should commence work until the community centre is replaced, and replacing this facility should be linked and contingent on any works progressing.
11. Ideas regarding re-designing the runway, and central area are much needed and key to the first step in the next stage of the Park’s development.

The access road from the straw bale house to the Barrels, is very narrow and frequented by kids on bikes, and walkers visiting the pottery studio, etc. There is insufficient space between the road, and the green belt areas to the north to suitably fit residences in this area. Eventually, studios may be rebuilt, however, it is unclear that there would-be sufficient space between the road and green belt, to support residential studios on this strip, “Artists Way”

The Park Ecovillage, Findhorn

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co-founder of the Findhorn Foundation

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