MSP Joan McAlpine last weekend visited the Whitesands Project demonstration to seek assurances from the consultants over concerns raised by local people.
The SNP member has been listening to worried constituents since the project was given the go ahead by the Council last December.
In particular Ms McAlpine raised concerns about the heritage of the ancient Devorgilla Bridge and sought reassurances that the impact of the project would be assessed in advance of further rounds of public consultation.
Commenting the South Scotland MSP said:
“I was pleased that the consultants seemed to take my concerns seriously.
“It was interesting to use the virtual reality technology to get a feel for how the Whitesands will be transformed by the project – though I was concerned that the view from the roadside over to the caul wasn’t that obvious from the displays.”
Along with the displays there was also a specially designed sandpit which demonstrated water flow.
Ms McAlpine said:
“I was pleased to speak to constituents and business owners at the demonstration.
“It is clear that lots of people are still worried about the development, and the potential for flooding upstream, but I’m glad that the consultants seemed receptive to these concerns. I still have concerns about parking and I feel the additional spaces at Greensands are too far away from the big shops - it is important that Dumfries town centre continues to be a destination for shoppers to attract new retailers and hold on to those we have.
“Engagement like this opens a dialogue and creates a level of transparency around the project that I feel was missing before. I found the consultants and Council staff there very helpful. The scheme certainly looks visually more appealing than previous proposals, but more work still needs to be done.”
Picture shows Joan using the virtual reality goggles.