Jackton and the Gillburn Valley

Jackton and the Gillburn Valley
East Kilbride

Jackton and the Gill Burn Valley
East kilbride

Feasibility Study Completed February 2011

Glasgow City Council /
Glasgow and Clyde Valley Green Network Partnership /
Scottish Water /
Scottish Natural Heritage /
Forestry Commission Scotland /
South Lanarkshire Council /
Renfrewshire Council

Value £tbc

Scottish Government

The site is located to East Kibride’s south-eastern perimeter, and covers 140 hectares.  It is rural in character and compromises of rolling fields bounded by fences, mature trees, hedgerows and farm roads. The Gill Burn and tributaries run through the site within an existing valley. The natural topography of the site poses a natural constraint to any future development with the low-lying valley, existing watercourses and undulating hills creating a series of physical challenges. The extent of the central flood plain, and the zone within which development was prohibited was significant relative to the overall site area.  This posed the challenge as to where new development might be situated and how  this relates to the immediate surroundings and site topography. 

Green and blue routes - A strategic surface water strategy was developed between the architect and engineer. The water journey was considered in parallel with green pedestrian movement networks in order to ensure an fully integrated and holistic approach to place-making.  Pedestrian and habitat corridors connect neighbourhoods within and around the site to provide safe and diverse access routes. The Gill Burn Valley was enhanced as a dynamic, new landscape of green and blue spaces connected by Jackton Forest and allotments to the west and Jackton Park in the east. The interconnection of the water journey (blue routes) and the pedestrian journey (green routes) through the site collaborate to provide a truly inclusive environment.

Creating identifiable neighbourhoods - The approach to place-making developed in response to the rural character of the site, location, history and topography.  Twelve distinctive and inter-connected neighbourhoods were formed which relate to their location on the site and the integrated infrastructure of the Gill Burn Valley. A series of identifiable neighbourhoods hinged around Jackton, the Gill Burn Valley and associated surface water management strategy.  Each neighbourhood is characterised by its specific location, associated housing typology and landscape.

Roads - The proposed layout seeks to break the cul-de-sac/distributor road pattern that has dominated East Kilbride since the 1960’s.  It instead presents a holistic road, cycle and path network that sits alongside a series of core residential roads serving individual neighbourhoods. The proposed road and cycle network is based on guidance set out with The Scottish Government’s ‘Designing Streets’ policy document of April 2010, with roads planned to prioritise pedestrian movement followed by bicycles, public transport and finally cars. The strategy also offers the potential for phased development, reduces the likelihood of ‘rat-running’ across the site and connects into the existing road network.

Controlling the rural edge - The site (identified by South Lanarkshire council as a Community Growth Site) sits between existing, suburban developments to the north east and rural dwellings / farm roads to the south west. A rolling tapestry of fields form a valley to the Gill Burn.  These are dotted with rural buildings and bands of mature trees and hedgerows. Development to the south, east and western boundaries was reduced in density to respond to the existing, rural boundary.  This provided a softer, green edge overlooking fields and farm roads to retain the character of the surrounding countryside.  A new steading housing typology, with large areas of associated land, was provided to the rural edge bounded by fences and hedges.  
Enhancing the Gill Burn Valley - Rolling farmland forms a valley to the centre of the site around the existing Gill Burn. The new Gill Burn Way creates a safe, green route through the valley bounded by linear retention ponds, paths and cycleways.  It connects two generous public park areas known as Jackton Park and Jackton Woods. Both areas are located within the flood plain.  It also connects green routes, or ‘fingers’, leading down and through surrounding neighbourhoods. Buildings and front gardens overlook the Gill Burn Way, Jackton Park and Jackton Woods to provide natural surveillance throughout the day and evening.

Reinforcing Jackton - Jackton village is located to the north west of the site, consists of a number of dwellings, local businesses and farm holdings straddling Eaglesham Road and the Gill Burn.  Historical maps from 1864 onwards show Jackton to be an identifiable settlement. It is proposed that Jackton be reinforced as a place by extending it into the site to the east. The new Jackton High Street connects the newly formed Village Square with Jackton Primary School. Densely formed terraced houses line the High Street with back court parking allowing front-facing facades to both the High Street and the pedestrian Gill Burn Way. Small scale retail units around Jackton Square provide local conveniences such as grocers, news-agents, hairdressers and cafes. There is also the opportunity to provide retail units by the new school if required.