The island of Gigha was purchased by its residents in a community buy out in 2003. Since then, all members of the community have been involved in making decisions about the island’s future.
As new development can conflict with Gigha’s important archaeology and landscape, the Trust commissioned Anderson Bell Christie to develop a spatial master plan and design coding. Gigha is remote, and detailed aerial photographs were not available so we digitally compiled a very large-scale aerial photomontage of the island. Residents brought in historic photographs which were referenced to our map, scanned and returned and we also went on a “walk around the island” with planning and roads departments from Argyll and Bute Council. We then drew out 3D sketch proposals to clearly illustrate the implications of development to local people; they decided on their preferred development sites by secret ballot.
We compiled a series of design codes which were intended to empower the community to make informed decisions. These are as clear and accessible as possible to a wide range of users, and are derived from a study of existing traditional buildings on the island.
Winner - Sustainable Communities Award, RTPI Planning Awards