Bourtreehill


Bourtreehill

Disambiguation: Bourtreehill (housing estate) is a separate entity from Bourtreehill House, an older medieval estate in the vicinity.

The Bourtreehill housing scheme forms part of the Irvine New Town in North Ayrshire, Scotland. Bourtreehill (and Broomlands) are housing estates which were built in the late 1970s to meet the demands of a burgeoning population. They developed around the older Bourtreehill House estate. Rather than being controlled by local or regional government, they were managed by Irvine Development Corporation, a body set up for the purpose of regenerating Irvine.

Originally, Bourtreehill housing scheme was intended to be substantially larger than it is today, extending beyond the River Annick, further towards Perceton. However, with a considerable number of old mine workings, some of which have not been charted, this was abandoned.

North Bourtreehill has been a troubled community since its inception with several different construction companies being involved, some of which went bankrupt partway through the project. This has resulted in a wide variety of housing styles of varying quality. Since the disbanding of IDC, the houses which had not been sold to private ownership fell under either local council administration, which at that time was Cunninghame District Council or, in some cases, were owned by a housing association. The houses that formerly belonged to Cunninghame District Council are now owned and maintained by North Ayrshire council since the reorganisation of local government.

Missing Toddler

On April 23, 1976, the case of Sandy Davidson hit the headlines in Scotland [http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/index.cfm?id=1619292006] . Sandy (born May 28, 1972, a three-year-old toddler who was living with his family in Bourtreehill disappeared while walking his dog. Even after a massive police search Sandy was never found.

Unsolved Murder

In an incident that shocked the community of Bourtreehill a young mother was brutally murdered, this murder has to this day been left Unsolved. In broad daylight on November the 10th 1994 Shona Stevens had her life taken away from her violently while walking on the footpath in Bourtreehill Park / Middleton Park on the way back to her nearby house. [http://grampiantv.scottishtv.colo.ednet.co.uk/content/default.asp?page=s3_1_51] [http://www.strathclyde.police.uk/index.asp?locID=883&docID=2520] ,

Transport

The area is served by Stagecoach Western buses Ltd, the number 28, 26 & 21 bus serves this area of the town.

Social Problems

The community of Bourtreehill has a range of social problems such as drug dealing, underage drinking and petty acts of vandalism. This has been blamed on the lack of facilities for young people in the area although several projects have sought to address this. These are however problems common in many areas of nearly every town up and down Britain. With new regeneration schemes and building works planned for the future, the social problems of old should lessen if not cease.

Local Geography

To the south is the village of Dreghorn.

The Annick Water runs through Bourtreehill. The Annick Water is a tributary of the River Irvine and has a good stock of brown trout.

High Unemployment

There is a very high unemployment rate in Irvine which is partly due to well known companies moving out (Compaq, Volvo and British Telecom) of the area which has resulted in big job losses to the local population and has damaged the local economy.

Amenities

Bourtreehill is home to a library which was originally sited in the Towerlands Gate area. This original library was quite small, and also both users and library staff had concerns about the possibility of their cars being vandalised. In 1996, the library moved to a site directly next to the British Telecom exchange building in Cheviot Way. This custom built building cost 280,000 pounds sterling to build, and has since been vandalised on numerous occasions.

The two public houses which serve the local community are the But 'N' Ben and The Village Inn.

In Bourtreehill there are two clusters of shops. The first at Towerlands Gate has a small grocers and a fish and chip shop. With the demolition of the flats there, these businesses are also being closed. What will be erected in their place is still uncertain. Towerlands Gate is one of the trouble spots of Bourtreehill. The other is the area called the Village Centre. This has a number of stores ranging from a Grocers, a newsagents and sub post office, bookmakers and chemists.

There is also a community centre in the old Towerlands Farm. The farm had lain derelict for a number of years until it was refurbished. A group was set up called BABCA (Bourtreehill and Broomlands Community Association), and the community centre is used for various activities. BABCA at one point used to issue an irregular local newsletter making residents of the Bourtreehill and Broomlands area aware of coming events in the community centre and local issues which might affect them. This practice seems to have stopped some years ago.

The local Health centre is also located in Cheviot Way. [http://nhsayrshireandarran.com/view_item.aspx?item_id=1870] . There has been a Health Centre in Cheviot Way for many years. Originally it was a small prefabricated building which was situated just a short distance down the road across from the Telecom building where there is now a sheltered housing complex. Now it is in a newer, and larger building which also has many other facilities like a dentists.

The Irvine New Town Trail is a cycle and pedestrian route which passes through Bourtreehill, giving relatively 'car free' access to Girdle Toll, Eglinton Country Park, Broomlands, Springside, Kilmarnock and beyond.

Education

Bourtreehill itself is served by three Primary schools. These are Towerlands Primary School, near Heatherstane Way in the eastern edge of Bourtreehill. Fencedyke Primary school is notable for being powered by Solar Panels. This then revolutionary idea became more important in the 1984-85 Miners Strike, when pupils from other schools were ferried in there as other Primary Schools were then heated by coal. The third school is St John Ogilvie Primary, the last of the three schools built. It is primarily a Roman Catholic Primary school and is situated near both the Chapel [http://www.bsmgp.org.uk/members/bsmgp9a.htm] and the Church of Scotland Relief Parish Church.

Young people of senior school age from the area attend Greenwood Academy in Dreghorn, St Michaels Academy in Kilwinning or the Irvine Royal Academy.

External links

* [http://www.nls.uk/maps/ Old maps of Scotland from the National Library]
* [http://www.old-maps.co.uk/indexmappage2.aspx Old Ordnance Survey Maps]


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