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So… What Do YOU Think?

November 6, 2014

have_your_sayBY now a good number of you have had a chance to view the outline plans for a new Dumbarton FC stadium and ask questions of the Club, the investor, the architect and the planner.

Other Sons fans are planning to go along between 10am and 4pm on Friday 7th November. DFC Community Stadium Company Ltd and Denny’s Homes Ltd have been providing a questionnaire and comment form at the exhibition, so that people can leave their views and suggestions with them after viewing the proposals and asking questions of those directly involved in furthering them.

However, not everyone will be able to respond that way. Both the Club and the Sonstrust will therefore be making the display board content and survey available online.

In addition, the Sonstrust is organising a general meeting for public discussion of the plans at 7pm on Wednesday 26th November at the Abbotsford Hotel, where we will be joined by representatives of Dumbarton FC and planning consultant Roddy MacLeod.

You can also make comments, ask questions and share views on this website (below) and on our Facebook Page, as well as by writing directly to trust communications & projects officer Simon Barrow. We will collate all the comments you make, and ensure that they are received and heard.

We need YOUR views!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. David Brownlee permalink
    November 7, 2014 12:02 am

    Hey, what’s not to like in this glossy proposal. Brand new stadium, training pitches, facilities to generate income from non-football activities, floodlights which actually illuminate the pitch!

    How much will the new development cost? We don’t know!
    How much is the current site at the Rock worth? We don’t know!
    How much profit are the current owners wanting to make from the proposed sale of the Rock site? We don’t know!

    The term ‘phased development’ rings loud alarm bells. I foresee a watered down version of our current stadium, stuck out in the flood plain at Young’s Farm, with no further funding available for subsequent phases.

    The idea that we could regularly fill a 4000-seater stadium and become the ‘club of choice’ for football fans west of Glasgow is fanciful. There are too many other options now for folk, other than the diehards, on Saturday afternoons. We can’t quite fill a 2000-seater stadium for the visit of The Rangers. The projected income streams from the use of synthetic pitches and weddings(?) are optimistic to say the least.

    I’m afraid for me this plan has more holes than a string vest.

  2. David Ferguson permalink
    November 7, 2014 10:00 am

    Like David above, the lack of apparent answers is concerning for me. Surely if we have seriously looked at implementing the WHOLE project then we must have a budget figure that we know we need to meet? That’s basic planning which is why I find it difficult to believe that they couldn’t tell us a rough cost as to what we were buying/selling/leasing. From speaking with the guys yesterday it seems the current plan is actually only guaranteeing us 1,500 seats and after that? Who knows, depends if we can sell/lease the enabling development which again we have no idea of how much that will generate. A reason for moving is that we can’t expand capacity (something I don’t agree we must do but that’s the reason put forward), why then build phase 1 smaller than what we have now?

    The stadium plan looks great – I’d like the set up of having seats and terracing to choose from, if it’s viable without putting the club in debt then I’d be inclined to go along with it but until we see some evidence of that the jury is out for me.

    As a side note, I felt quite sorry for Roddy, the planner, who took the brunt of most of the questions when myself and few others were down. He’s worked for four years on this project and I think it was unfair that he was left to it. Some representation from the people actually proposing this would have been nice. If I’m honest the mystery of our owners only increases my scepticism of the plan and motives.

  3. Dave Carson permalink
    November 7, 2014 6:48 pm

    As Winston Churchill said, those who fail to learn the lessons of history are doomed to repeat it. Having in 2000 seen a poorly-controlled project which ultimately required an injection of public funding to complete it, and which resulted in the basic and bitsy ‘stadium’ we occupy today, we appear to now be embarked on course leading to just who knows what exactly ?

    For me it is simple. In my opinion the collective efforts, and especially finances, required to realise the development as shown in the artists’ projections are likely to be beyond what can actually be delivered. The alternatives are to accept a scaled-down version, still in the proposed wholly unbecoming location, or for DFC to remain where it is. I know which I prefer.

  4. November 10, 2014 2:12 am

    I was very sceptical about several matters and indeed still am. I am glad that I did make the effort to attend the presentation though, as Gilbert Lawrie answered several of my main concerns. He assured me that there would be no question of ground sharing and that phase 1 of the new stadium would be completed before the clearing of the Castle Road site. He also said that the required funding for phase 1 of the project would have to be realised by the sale of the current site. If this were not the case then the project would not progress.

    Any project of this kind is not without risk but of course there are significant risks in the club continuing to occupy a valuable housing site. I recall the late Alex Wright’s concern that Boghead would become more valuable as a cleared site than as the location for a football club. It would seem that we now have that situation at the Rock.

    I’m concerned at a situation where a few years from now, someone could come in and buy the club, lock stock and barrel simply with the intention of realising the asset of the current location. Some people seem to think that is the situation here. It may be but the evidence would suggest otherwise. I know Gilbert Lawrie fairly well and know that he has a long track record of securing the club’s short term future in difficult times. I don’t know Calum Hosie other than to say hello to but his family’s long association with the club is surely relevant? On a somewhat smaller scale might he be regarded as a ‘Fergus McCann’ rather than a ‘Craig Whyte’ ? (I encourage readers to apply their own rhyming slang)

    I’m keen though to find out what Brabco stand to gain from their investment, I understand though, again from an answer from Gilbert, that this would be from the development of the Castle Road site rather than the sale.

    I have heard it said that the whole reason for these proposals is an end to a means – for Brabco to make a profit and to dance off into the sunset. Again this may be true but once again I would suggest the evidence doesn’t back that up. Gilbert Lawrie has long said (since we moved in fact) that we are in the wrong location in terms of being a bad neighbour, sited contrary to the local plan and on a site which for various planning reasons is not suitable to develop.

    Even if the current site were suitable to develop, where would that money come from?

    That all said, I am not filled with joy at the proposed new location. I note that other sites at Bowling and Dumbuck were considered but were deemed not suitable. Dalmoak at present is a rather dark and dreary place where you wouldn’t wish to visit unless you had rubbish to dump or you were on your way between Dumbarton and the Vale. If ever there were a location where it’s hard to find a redeeming feature it is Dalmoak. I haven’t missed the irony either that given the club’s recent problems with travellers, the proposed new site backs on to the travellers’ site at Dennystown Forge.

    As supporters we are all entitled to our views and I know that Sonstrust are in a difficult position here as both fans’ representatives and board members. With power comes responsibility and I’m sure Sonstrust will do their best, as they always do, to find a way through their dichotomy.

    Dave Carson makes a good point about the project in 2000. The main reason for funding uncertainty there was the granting of money to St Mirren and Hibs which had previously been promised to Dumbarton. That is why any funding for this project must be identified and ring fenced before a shovel is used in anger.

    I like the current location and it is perfect for our needs in many respects. However my main concern is the securing of the club’s future long term.

    There are two nightmare scenarios here. One is that the proposed project proceeds with inadequate funding (A situation that the club CEO has assured me will not happen). The other is that if we stay at the Rock we could, somewhere down the line, find ourselves in a situation like the Dalmarnock Rd residents who refused to accept the inevitable as the Commonwealth Games development encircled them.

    I’m hopeful that there are enough good people around the club for the best outcome to emerge in the coming months.

    Robert Ryan

  5. November 19, 2014 4:24 am

    Someone said to me yesterday that I had said Dalmoak was a good location on another forum whilst here I had criticised it. To clarify, it’s the aesthetics of the place more than the location itself I was criticising here. It’s a good location in many respects, just off A82, 20 mins from the airport on the main road, very accessible by car and public transport.

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