Plans for a modular construction to replace the existing Centre at Lochore Meadows have faced a public backlash from residents in the Central Fife area.
The plans for the visitor centre have been likened to a ‘prison block’ and residents have expressed their anger over the lack of any meaningful public consultation.
The current centre is due to be demolished on Tuesday even though the new centre is still to win planning approval. The proposed centre is expected to cost £1.8 million according to the leader of Fife Council, councillor David Ross.
Residents called on MSP Annabelle Ewing to intervene on the issue, which prompted her to write to the leader of Fife Council:
“You will now doubtless be aware of the huge public outcry … Significant concerns have been expressed re the design and re the fact that there has not been proper local consultation … I would therefore urge the Council to now put this project on hold so that local people can now have their say.”
Councillor Ross dismissed the lack of consultation claiming:
“My understanding is that there has been considerable consultation on the developments at Lochore Meadows although, given the concerns that are now being raised at this late stage, this could perhaps have been better.”
Meanwhile, the community group Benarty Regeneration Forum has called a public meeting tonight to allow residents to express their concerns to senior planners and local councillors.
One commentator on the Benarty Matters facebook page says
“It’s a total shambles and an absolute monstrosity of a design also the cost is a complete disgrace. They done away with a play Park that was completely fine and should simply have been added too and now the center. Absolutely mind boggling…”
Much of the criticism has focused on the lack of public consultation and the design of the building not being sensitive or sympathetic to the character of the landscape.
For anyone interested in attending the meeting, it is being held at:
Lochore Miners Institute
Monday 14th November 2016
The meeting is expected to last until 9pm.
Updates can be found at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/benartymatters/