Information has come to light that suggests over 100 residents may have received a misleading impression at a recent public meeting about controversial plans for the new visitor centre at Lochore Meadows.
At a packed meeting held at Lochore Miners’ Institute on 14th November 2016, one of the concerns residents raised was that the existing visitor centre was about to be demolished.
In response to this, Cllr Hood stated:
“The contractor has not been appointed so there is no fear of the building being demolished.”
According to the Public Contracts Scotland website, an Invitation to Tender for the demolition works, including reconstruction of the visitor centre and construction of a Golf and Football pavilion, was put out on the 7th September 2016 with a submission deadline of 11th October 2016.
The contract is worth £1.6 million and the Invitation to Tender gives 17th October 2016 as the estimated date when the contract would be awarded.
Suggestions have been made on facebook and elsewhere that a local contractor has been given the contract, but there has been no formal announcement from Fife Council.
It seems strange that a formal invitation to tender is put out, with the expectation that it will be awarded, before planning consent for the project has been secured. This may be one reason why no formal announcement of an award has been made.
As a result of the issues raised over the proposed visitor centre on the 14th November, residents asked that the process be put on hold due to concerns over the lack of consultation and procedural processes, as well as over the visual aspects of the proposals.
Cllr Hood responded to the concerns, stating:
“We’ve got a period of time, 2-3 weeks possibly, where if we are to get together and if we are able to get something that can work, we can carry on. But if we get to that point and at that point we’re still not happy as a community with regards to the building that was going ahead well then we would have to close it.”
Despite the assurance of additional time from the chairperson of the Cowdenbeath Area Committee, Fife Council approved a planning application for the demolition of the current visitors centre and construction of a new visitor centre at Lochore Meadows, only 4 days after the public meeting.
The contract for tender can be viewed at: http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk/search/show/search_view.aspx?ID=SEP256355
The planning application can be viewed at: http://planning.fife.gov.uk/online/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=documents&keyVal=O7OLEAHFMTK00
Audio recording of the previous meeting captured by Benarty Matters available at: