Silverburn decision prompts probe call

3D visual of possible crematorium proposal at Silverburn flaxmill
3D visual of possible crematorium proposal at Silverburn flaxmill
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THE man behind a failed proposal to take over the running of Silverburn has said he remains none the wiser as to why his bid lost out.

John Wotherspoon of Leven wanted to transform the town’s cherished park into a centre for bereavement services, to be known as the Silverburn Funeral Estate.

Mr Wotherspoon planned to convert the site of the old flax mill, steadings and nearby land to include a crematorium with gardens, restaurant/café, florist, stonemason, bereavement centre and a funeral parlour.

However, Fife Council decided at the end of last month its preferred partner for the long-term lease of the park is the Fife Employment Access Trust (FEAT).

Mr Wotherspoon doesn’t agree with that decision, and has instructed his lawyer to write to the local authority “to seek a full appraisal of the rejection of his proposal in favour of an alternative use”.

He told the Mail: “While I support the work and opportunities created by FEAT it is unclear how it can develop the park to support the planning brief as provided to all interested parties.

“The public need to know exactly how the park is to be developed given the bequest of the estate to the Leven community.

“My proposals clearly addressed many needs of the community as well as maintaining the core of the park for public access, further areas of enhanced landscaping would have been provided along with improved access and car parking.”

When FEAT was revealed as the council’s preferred option exactly what it had planned wasn’t disclosed.

It was only said FEAT’s plans would cover the broad focus of wellbeing and that the trust specialised in enhancing employment opportunities for young people with disabilities and mental health problems.

Mr Wotherspoon finds it difficult to believe FEAT can offer as much as he can. All through the process he has felt his plan of a one-stop shop for bereavement services is needed, with around 4000 deaths a year throughout Fife.

It was entirely self-financing and would keep open access to the general public as well as maintaining paths and walkways, he claimed.

His proposal could also have resulted in around 20 full/part-time jobs, including three apprenticeships.

A spokesperson for FEAT said it planned to reveal more details of its proposal during this week.