Anger over East Neuk care home plans

Ladywalk Care Home.
Ladywalk Care Home.

Residents in Anstruther have criticised proposals to build a replacement care home in a local park.

The new home in Anstruther would replace the current Ladywalk House, and the preferred option is for it to be built in the adjacent Bankie Park.

Fife Council and Fife Health & Social Care Partnership claim this would mean that the playpark and other facilities would be undisturbed and the current site of Ladywalk House could be returned to park land on a like for like basis.

However, the choice of site has been criticised by local residents.

Susanne McElhinney, a former member of the Bankie Park Development Group, which worked to upgrade the park, said the choice of location was “unbelievable”.

She added: “I was quite devastated to see these plans that they want to build a large building in the park.

“Since the plans were announced it has gotten a huge response – people are not welcoming the idea at all.

“I can’t understand why Fife Council would think it’s OK to put a building in some of Anstruther’s only green space.”

Ms McElhinney also criticised the timing of the announcement, just as the summer holidays begin, and wants more details about the size of the new care home.

Local residents have created a petition calling on the plans for the site to be dropped – within days of the announcement being made it had garnered more than 1300 signatures.

Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said Bankie Park was chosen ahead of four other sites for three key reasons: it’s close proximity to the current care home; that the work will not disrupt existing facilities in the park; and that the existing care home would be demolished and the land being turned back into parkland for community use.

Louise Bell, service manager, Older People Services at Fife Health & Social Care Partnership, said: “No decisions have been made as this is the start of a conversation.

“We are well aware of the value the park has in the community and so we have already been in contact with the Friends of Bankie Park as well as local community councillors and councillors to present our proposals.

“An open information meeting is being arranged where we can meet with the community, display the options considered and listen and take views as part of what will be a rolling programme of engagement. We reassure that nothing will happen until this full process has been completed.”

The deadline for comments is July 27. Proposals can be found on the community council website, or at Anstruther Town Hall, the East Neuk Centre, Waid Community Campus, Dreel Halls, and Anstruther Post Office.

To sign the petition search for ‘Bankie Park’ on www.change.org.