Heads of estate are committed to plan

A scene from the East Neuk, looking towards Elie.
A scene from the East Neuk, looking towards Elie.

INITIAL talks are to be held soon involving a group dedicated to the long-term viability and prosperity in the East Neuk.

A December date is likely for the first meeting of a steering group affiliated to the East Neuk Community Action Plan.

Behind ENCAP is the East Neuk Estates group – a six-member consortium of landowners from the estates of Balcarres, Balcaskie, Elie, Gilston, Kilconquhar and Strathtyrum.

Its aim stretches over the next half-century or so and seeks to form a strategic economic and planning context, to help keep communities sustainable and the local economy vibrant.

And the members stress consultation with the community is crucial to its aims.

The Estates body has teamed up with Fife Council and East Neuk community councils on the steering group, which also includes Fife Rural Partnership, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, Fife Tourism Partnership, and others.

Addressing the area’s housing needs, including affordable housing for local people amid the high numbers of holiday and second homes, is among the main priorities.

Others include the development of more business activities in the rural environment, creating local job opportunities, better transport and broadband links, and enhancing the local identity of the East Neuk communities.

A group representative said the attractiveness and desirability of the East Neuk could, unfortunately, also work against it in some ways.

East Neuk Estates, very committed to the area over which it presided, wanted to engage with local people and hopefully overcome the difficulties, in collaboration with the steering group.

Funding applications are being made, while some local community councils have already said they support the Estate team’s objectives.

On its website, the group said: “The East Neuk Community Action Plan sets out to understand what makes the East Neuk a wonderful place in which to live and work.

“Then, in collaboration with East Neuk communities, it seeks to develop policies which will help keep the East Neuk vibrant and successful in the face of changes in the economy, the demography and the ebb and flow of communities of the East Neuk, over the coming 50 years.”