Call for calm as skate park plan splits Fife community

The chairman of Anstruther, Cellardyke and Kilrenny Community Council has appealed for calm over proposed plans for a skatepark in the East Neuk.

By Kevin McRoberts
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 9:14 am

Andy Peddie says he is disappointed that the debate over whether the skate park should be based at Bankie park has become so rancorous.

And he called on those on both sides to debate the issue as a community without the “unpleasant social media chatter and half truths”.

The Keep Bankie Park Green (KBPG) group believes the Anstruther Skatepark Group already identified Bankie Park as its location prior to running a series of consultation events to determine a suitable site in the East Neuk.

The skate park plan has split local opinion

It highlighted a funding application to SportScotland submitted in March, prior to any community consultation taking place, which states that the preferred location for the skate park is Bankie Park.

Graham Ellery, of KBPG, said: “It is hard to believe that local people have yet another fight on their hands to save this area from future development. In 2018 local residents opposed plans which would have seen a residential care home built on the site.

“Anstruther already has limited greenspace and Bankie Park is valued and enjoyed by many. The proposed plans for the skatepark would see a concrete structure devour the wild meadows which have been developed to allow wildlife to flourish.

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"There is a care home only metres from the proposed site, and vulnerable residents would most certainly be impacted by noise. This open area is used by locals and visitors of all ages and only recently was used to celebrate the Queens Jubilee.”

The skatepark group has not responded to the Mail’s request for a comment.

However, Mr Peddie said the application to SportScotland did not necessarily mean Bankie Park would be the chosen location.

He explained: “There has been an application to Sportscotland for funding for the proposed skatepark. This application was made by a Fife Council official.

"As any application for funding for this year had to be submitted before 31 March, the application was submitted with Bankie Park as the location. This was purely to allow the funding application to progress as it would not have been accepted without a specific location.

“Once the location for the skatepark is finalised the application can be updated.

“I don't believe anything in this process stinks or that anyone or any group have been deliberately misled. We do have a group of very determined young people in our community backed by an unusually enthusiastic Fife Council official who are together pushing very hard for their dream of a skatepark in the East Neuk.

“The position of the Community Council from the outset is that we support in principle the creation of a skatepark in the East Neuk. We have no other information to debate at the moment. Once we have a firm proposal from the skatepark group on location, size etc, backed up by the results of their consultation, we will take views from our community.”