East Neuk skatep ark: councillors press pause over ‘divided’ location plan

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An East Neuk skate park project has been slowed down by councillors calling for caution and concern.

The North and East Fife area committee was asked to review a community consultation on Wednesday morning and recognise that the preferred location for the skatepark was Anstruther’s Bankie Park. However, two East Neuk councillors put the brakes on making any decisions or recognising the outcome of the consultation. The committee decision will require the council to undertake its own options appraisal and project designs for a skatepark rather than recognising the outcome of the community consultation.

Councillor Sean Dillon (Lib-Dem) said: “It must be stressed that this amendment was not about favouring one site over another or going against the hard work that the young people of the skatepark group have carried out. The people of North East Fife expect their councillors to make well informed decisions and I do not believe that the unamended report did that.”

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Councillor Fiona Corps (Lib-Dem) agreed that information in the community consultation was not sufficient or robust enough to allow councillors to make any decisions. She said: “This amendment is about finding a balance and finding a solution to what has become a really toxic situation. I’ve lived in the area for more than 50 years and I’ve never seen such a divide.”

Councillors have paused plans for a location for the skate parkCouncillors have paused plans for a location for the skate park
Councillors have paused plans for a location for the skate park

A group of young people known as the Anstruther Skatepark Group first brought their skatepark ambitions to the council in 2021. The Waid Academy pupils secured partial funding including £20,000 approved by the area committee last March.

The committee also instructed the group to carry out a community consultation with a full options appraisal and a preferred location outcome. The consultation was returned a few months later, stating Bankie Park in Anstruther as the preferred location.

“Having carried out the process requested, it seems that for some councillors, it was the wrong decision, so a motion was contrived to remove the responsibility for those decisions from local residents and put it back in the hands of Fife Council Officers,” Cllr Hayes said. “The decision was taken to remove control of the development of plans for a Skatepark in Anstruther from the hands of the community and place it in the control of Fife Council officers.”

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A vote was taken, and it was decided that council officers would conduct their own consultation process in favour of recognising the community consultation.

“It’s important to stress at this point that the council has not taken a decision to locate the skate park in Bankie park,” council officers emphasised.

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