Lane given new lease of life

Above: lane party and below: before the clean up. Bottom: Councillor Graham cuts the ribbon
Above: lane party and below: before the clean up. Bottom: Councillor Graham cuts the ribbon

An enterprising community group has transformed a shabby, little-used lane into a shared and gated area where kids can play safely and residents can hold street parties, barbecues and micro festivals.

The Carbrae Residents Association got together with the police and city council’s Recreate programme, which puts young minor offenders to work on community projects.

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The youngsters helped in the lane’s makeover, picking up rubbish, clearing weeds and preparing the ground for paving and hanging two gates, one at each end of the lane.

Siobhan Halliday, secretary of the association for residents of Braemar Street and Carmichael Place, told The Extra: “The place was a quagmire, often used as a toilet by passers-by and prey to people ransacking our rubbish.

“It was only used for bin collection. The important thing for me is that we now have a clean and safe place for kids to play in such an overpopulated and and built-up area.

“Now, we have a lovely, clean safe place that can be used for communal and community purposes.”

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There are plans to open up the area for local market days, bring-and-buy sales and charitable activities.

The next phase in the transformation is to plant up the space with hanging baskets and container plants.

Siobhan said: “From having a lane that was unsafe, unsightly and served no purpose, we now have a welcoming shared space.

“The whole thing has changed how I feel about my house — and it feels more secure.”

Councillor Archie Graham came along for the opening and to cut the ribbon on the new gates, which will be locked to non-residents.