Kinghorn residents urged to get behind unique eco cemetery plans

How the unique columbarium (repository for ashes of deceased) planned for Kinghorn Loch could look
How the unique columbarium (repository for ashes of deceased) planned for Kinghorn Loch could look

Kinghorn residents are being urged to give their backing for Scotland’s first new woodland cemetery featuring a unique burial chamber mound.

If planning permission is successful, the cemetery will be sited to the east of Kinghorn Loch next to the Ecology Centre.

Maeshowe burial site in Orkney

Maeshowe burial site in Orkney

The eco-friendly woodland cemetery will be the first of its kind in Fife and the columbarium, a memorial repository for the ashes of passed-away loved ones, will be the first in the whole of Scotland and only the fourth in the UK.

The project will be set up as a community not-for-profit enterprise by Kinghorn Community Land Association (KCLA). Following the purchase of 10 acres of land on behalf of the community in 2015, KCLA commissioned Edinburgh-based architects Simpson and Brown to design the columbarium.

“It’s an incredibly exciting project for Kinghorn,” explained Richard Brewster, the land association chairman.

“There’s a real shortage of cemetery space in Kinghorn and making these proposals a reality will provide an opportunity for people to have somewhere special to lay loved ones to rest.

“The cemetery will develop into a natural woodland and peaceful remembrance space with wildflower meadow and spectacular views over the Forth.

“The idea for the columbarium is based on an Iron Age barrow – a hollow mound with passages within it, with a central walled area and a path that leads from the higher celebration platform.

“For the project to be successful we need as many people as possible to support it and we are encouraging them to show this support on the Fife Council planning website.

“We’ve had great feedback from all the consultation we’ve done so far, including formal support from Kinghorn Community Council, and we need to build on that momentum.

“If planning permission is granted we will need the community to support the funding and delivery of the project.”

John Sanders lead architect at Simpson Brown, added: “The columbarium will have over 600 niches with each containing up to six urns, allowing families to be interred together. It will cover an area of around 125sqm.

“The internal character will be like an ancient tomb like Maeshowe in Orkney but there will be natural light filtering into the chambers. The overall plan consists of four chambers grouped around a central corridor.

“We think that the result will be a unique and a characterful building.”

Community consultation helped develop the design, and the plans can be seen at: planning.fife.gov.uk/online/applicationDetails.do?activeTab=summary&keyVal=OK2QJYHFKWL00.