LEVEN became a hub of planning activity last week as the town experienced its first ever charette.
And it was a case of ‘making the most of what we’ve got’ that seemed to be the overarching theme at the event, designed to give locals the chance to take part in a process normally reserved for town planners and councillors.
The main focus of the series of meetings and workshops was to come up with ideas for development around the Bawbee Brig area, including the River Valley and former power station site, however it soon became clear that the chance for development further afield could not be ignored.
The event kicked off with an opening workshop at Parkhill Primary last Wednesday evening, and, thanks to a reasonable turn-out, the team collected a number of ideas for developments on land flanking the mouth of the River Leven, including a McDonalds and a railway, as well as a wealth of personal experience and old memories.
Councillor Tom Adams (pictured), chair of the Levenmouth Area Committee, was keen to take part and says thanks must go to Planning Aid for all of their efforts.
“I was very pleased with how the whole thing was run and very happy with the amount of people who turned up to take part because after all, this is their town.
“From the eventual plans, there are a lot of things which could be implemented quite easily without much cost, like installing lighting under the Bawbee Brig, and we could even get local companies involved. I would really like to see some of the things that have been suggested achieved quickly so we can show people we mean business.”
Thursday and Friday saw a flurry of activity at The Caledonian hotel with workshops dedicated to the town centre, the Leven Valley and Methil, providing the planners with even more information and ideas to present to the public in a final meeting on Saturday afternoon.
Eugene Mullan, a director at Planning Aid, says Levenmouth is the perfect area for development.
“There’s so much potential here it is unbelievable. Over the past few days, there has been no great pressure from the people taking part for new development. There is just this sense of frustration that the potential is there but things aren’t quite working yet.
He added: “We’ve tried to look at ways to improve things and make them better – right now the area is very ‘driving’ engineered. It’s almost like the pedestrian is a second-class citizen, so that’s why we have focussed on walking and cycle routes.
“We’ve looked at the river valley, and the connections between the retail park and the high street, and one area we think is particularly lost – the land next to the leisure centre which could become a town park.
Dave Paterson, Levenmouth area services manager, was quick to praise the charette.
“A lot of things are just about to kick off in Leven, such as the Tesco development, and clearly we have the huge site down at the power station which has fantastic potential if we can pin down exactly what is going to happen there and what the owners want to happen.
“The next big challenge will be funding and looking at the core priorities. We hope we will have some sort of overview of this by the follow-up meeting on June 12.”