Developers’ next steps to creating eco-therapy wellness and leisure park in Fife
and live on Freeview channel 276
The tentative early plans for St Ninians site include accommodation units, a wellness spa complex on the water of Loch Fitty, a technology park, and areas for entertainment nestled into the landscape.
Early concept designs also include observation areas on the former Fife Earth Project landform structures, known locally as the ‘walnut whips’.
The idea for a new eco-therapy and wellness facility in Fife began all the way back in 2020 when the St Ninians site went up for sale.
Developers at National Pride Ltd said they saw the “enormous and exciting potential of what could be achieved on the site” and eventually acquired the 976 acre site in 2021.
Since then, they have been assembling a team of professional consultants and creating drawings and plans to deliver a leisure and ecotourism destination in north west of Fife.
Irene Bisset, chair and co-founder of National Pride (St Ninians) Limited, previously commented: “We have had intensive discussions with the master planners about the vision for St Ninians and Loch Fitty and ideas are being explored all of the time. Everything is in the mix and early indications are incredibly exciting.”
She continued: “Discussions have also commenced with numerous operators wanting to join us to provide entertainment and other experiences. It is a very large site and, as the custodians of this beautiful place, we take very seriously our responsibilities to deliver something wonderful for future generations and for the local community to be proud of.”
The St Ninians Wellness website describes the former coal mine site as a “beautiful natural place to establish an eco therapy wellness and leisure park.”
If plans materialise, developers say that the park will provide “active health and mental relaxation with spa, exercise, craft activities and amenities.”
“With a population that is increasingly aware of the importance of good mental health and well being, it’s no surprise that leisure and tourism destinations that incorporate wellness influence and drive consumers,” information from the St Ninians Wellness website stated.
“This pursuit of wellness and mental health has created a massive developing industry that has become known as the wellness economy - a sector St Ninians Wellness aims to make a name in.”
Developers say they are working with Fife Council and community groups to deliver the eco-therapy facilities for the benefit of everyone in the local community.
Some of the key features of the process include: regenerating and bringing into use the current brownfield site; creating an environmentally sustainable model; collaborating with the local authorities; a commitment to invest 10% of net profit into the local community and NHS trainee bursaries; a model of 21st-century renewable technology; and a fitting tribute to the site’s coal mining heritage.
National Pride and St Ninians Wellness have long made their plans and ideas public on their website, but the proposals just recently made their formal debut with the planning authority in early September. Developers sent a scoping request to the council asking whether or not an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) will be required as part of a future planning application.
EIAs - tools used by planning authorities to assess the significant effects of a project on the environment - make sure that project decision makers think about the likely effects on the environment at the earliest possible time and aim to avoid, reduce or offset those effects. The council has now determined that an EIA will be a necessary part of the planning process going forward.