Possible jobs boost for Glenrothes as plans revealed for brownfield site

Plans include a possible solar farm. Stock image.
Plans include a possible solar farm. Stock image.

More than 2,500 jobs could be coming to Fife if plans to transform one of Europe’s biggest brownfield sites is given the go-ahead.

The former Westfield open cast coal mine could become an industrial and energy-producing powerhouse for the region under plans submitted by site owners Hargreaves Services.

Development of the vast site, situated between Kinglassie and Cardenden, could also result in the reopening of an old railway line following the findings of a feasibility study commissioned as part of the proposals.

A vast solar farm is also planned, with panels placed on land and floating on the water-filled former quarry.

Food production and the recycling industries are two areas being targeted, with the planning application having followed a public consultation by Hargreaves, which purchased the site in 2012.

Hargreaves estimates around 1,075 construction jobs would be created over a ten-year-period, with the completed development capable of supporting an estimated 1,500 full-time equivalent jobs.

The plans have been welcomed by the neighbouring Cardenden Community Council who have been supportive of the proposals to regenerate the site for a number of years.

“We are fully supportive of the application as long as we get the environmental safeguards in place,” said David Taylor, Cardenden Community Council chairman.

A planning decision is expected in the new year.