Silverburn should stay a prized public asset

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SPECIALIST leisure and property advisers concur with Fife Council that Silverburn Park should remain a public facility.

But the experts say that, while investment is needed to boost the range and quality of facilities on site, “a holistic approach” must be taken.

Yorkshire-based firm Humberts Leisure Ltd. has prepared a developmentbrief for Fife Council, soon to go out to public consultation, on how best to entice interest in Silverburn from the open market.

It’s well known that heavy expenditure would be needed to upgrade Silverburn House and the two Listed Buildings - the former flax mill (below) and Corriemar - all of which are described as “derelict” or “in poor condition”.

Humberts noted the existing premises could be converted for alternative use but their Listed Building status would have implications for any venture.

The council, it said, recognised the need for “signficant investment” to meet its objectives and therefore some commercial activity would be preferred by developers. However, there should still be public access to most of the estate.

Council-owned since 1973, Silverburn Park Estate, “with its pleasant outlook, proximity to the public footpath network and access to the beach and nearby golf course, has the potential to be a signifcant attraction for visitors and locals alike”, reckoned Humberts.

“The proximity of neighbouring golf courses creates an opportunity to develop something in connection with the golf activity, such as club facilities, golf school or overnight accommodation.

“Proximity to the local footpath network, including a national cycle route, makes the site potentially very attractive to walkers and cyclists. Recently, European Regional Development Fund monies have been obtained to develop the route through the park.”

Humberts added: “It should be borne in mind that, when considering development of the site as a whole, the emphasis will be on bringing the site forward as a leisure and tourism site, with improved facilities. Therefore, while residnetial use, including visitor accommodation, may be acceptable at each property in principle, the council will not wish to see the whole site given over to this use.

“A holistic approach must be taken.”

The brief also hinted a hotel or self-catering holiday accommodation might be possible.