TIME is running out for people to have their say on plans to expand the boundaries of Dumbarton town centre protected by conservation status.

Conservation areas are places of special architectural or historic interest and local authorities have a statutory duty to identify such areas.

There are currently six conservation areas in West Dunbartonshire, including Dumbarton town centre, which was designated protected status in October 2019.

Now it has been recommended that its boundaries should be extended to ensure the preservation of other notable landmarks such as Dumbarton Bridge and the Scottish Maritime Museum.

Suggestions for additional listed buildings are also included in the document.

The proposals are informed by a successful initial round of public engagement in the winter of 2021/22. This included a town centre walkabout for groups of pupils from local schools, a dedicated council webpage and an online quiz seeking people’s views on the town centre, plus a series of ‘Did You Know’ posters and art drawing attention to key heritage features.

Following consultation, a finalised version of the document will be brought back to West Dunbartonshire Council’s planning committee for approval. Any decision to extend the conservation area or create new listed buildings will require further statutory procedures and consultation.

The Conservation Area Appraisal also includes a broad set of specific initiatives including greater control of changes to unlisted buildings through positive engagement with owners, improvements to gap sites and the riverside frontage, enhancements to shopfronts and reviewing car parking provision to create more useable greenspace in the town centre.

The draft Conservation Area Appraisal document has been published with the consultation period running until Monday, January 16.

Information on the consultation can be found on West Dunbartonshire Council’s website and the council offices at 16 Church Street, Dumbarton.