Villagers want better facilities for Larbert's Kinnaird community

Residents of Kinnaird Village in Larbert hope that forming a community group will lead to better facilities for the area.

By Kirsty Paterson
Thursday, 23rd July 2020, 4:45 pm

One of the organisers, Iain Henderson, says the new group is badly needed for the development which has 1900 houses and “almost zero facilities”.

Iain was one many who bought their houses in the early days of the development, when Cala Homes boasted on a promotional video that the site was “not just new homes but a new kind of community”.

They were promised a ‘village centre’ with shops and a restaurant as well as the primary school.

Sign up to our daily The Falkirk Herald Today newsletter

Residents in Kinnaird Village say other than a primary school they have very little other community facilities

The reality, however, has been very different.

Said Iain: “I’ve been a resident here since about 2001 and, believe it or not, it took us seven years to get a postbox.”

“The developers paid for the school but they didn’t deliver the village centre that was supposed to be here – with the pub and the retail stuff.

“We’ve got bits and pieces now and again and eventually Sainsbury’s showed up after 10 years or so – but when you’ve got a community this size celebrating a postbox, that’s not good.”

Between Kinnaird and the neighbouring Inches, there are 3500 homes with more than 8000 people.

The lack of facilities came to the fore over when an application was made by Grace Church Larbert to build on one of the few pieces of land available now for community facilities.

The church says it will provide much-needed facilities and the £2 million building won’t cost the public purse anything.

But Iain is not convinced that it is the answer to Kinnaird’s prayers and he believes the bigger picture of a lack of facilities for young people in particular still needs to be addressed.

He said: “I’m against the church being built but I’ve always said it’s not enough to say what you don’t want. You have to say what you do want as well.”

He and a group of like-minded residents set about finding out what the community does want by setting up a website and a community survey.

The results show that a restaurant is top of the wish list.

NHS Forth Valley says that the site was marketed extensively but there was no interest because it was not a main road site, which is what most restaurant groups are looking for.

Iain and those who are starting the community group are confident that people in Kinnaird want to have a say in the type of facilities they need – and many have said they would support a community right to buy project.

He said: “We want to set up this group to stand up for the things we do want.

“The council can agree or not agree but at least they’ll have a very clear, positive statement from the people who actually live here.”

The survey was completed five months ago, but residents believe having good local facilities is even more important now given the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Iain said: “Basically, this is suburbia – a huge proportion of people either work in Glasgow or work in Edinburgh and that’s going to be a lot less the case.

“People will now be around here more with the same zero facilities.”

Anyone living in the Kinnaird area is welcome to be involved with the community group. To find out more visit kinnairdvillagecommunity.org/ or find Kinnaird SOS on Facebook.

Message from the editor:

Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you.

In order for us to continue to provide high quality and trusted local news on this free-to-read site, I am asking you to also please purchase a copy of our newspaper.

Our journalists are highly trained and our content is independently regulated by IPSO to some of the highest standards in the world. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our local valued advertisers and consequently the advertising that we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you helping us to provide you with news by buying a copy of our newspaper.

Thank you