Have your say on Westfield development

Alex Rowley MSP is urging the community to get involved
Alex Rowley MSP is urging the community to get involved

Proposals for the restoration and development of the former Westfield Opencast site near Kinglassie have been revealed.

Site owner Hargreaves Services has submitted a proposal to Fife Council outlining the statutory consultation process that it will follow.

This will lead to the company submitting a planning application later this year to begin work on the site, which was once the deepest open pit coal mine in Europe.

Public exhibitions have now been set up and Cowdenbeath MSP Alex Rowley is urging the community to get involved and have their say on the proposed developments after meeting with the company to discuss the opencast sites in his constituency.

In a letter to Mr Rowley, Robert Watson, development director of Hargreaves Services said: “We have identified Westfield as one of our priority development sites, and although we are at an early stage of the project, we are looking to engage with residents over the coming months to get feedback on our emerging vision.

“We have been actively restoring other opencast sites in Fife and have the experience and capability to deliver a masterplan for Westfield that will greatly improve and enhance the local area”.

Mr Watson also outlined some of the companies proposals for the site which include; physical restoration works, extensive public access, landscaping and economic development encompassing a range of employment space, renewable energy and resource recovery facilities.

He added: “We aim to take the Westfield site out of dereliction and stimulate investment and create new business opportunities and jobs for this part of Fife.

Mr Rowley said he welcomed the “interest and commitment to developing the Westfield site”, was looking forward to seeing the proposals at the public exhibitions in March and hoped that members of the public would give their opinion on the plans.

He said: “I would encourage all those in the surrounding communities in Benarty, Kinglassie and Cardenden to get along and give their views on what is being proposed.”

Public exhibitions will be held in the Corrie Centre, Cardenden on Wednesday, March 16, Mitchell Hall, Kinglassie on Thursday, March 17 and Benarty Community Centre, Ballingry on Friday, March 18. All will take place between 4pm – 8pm.