Dunfermline Press

Proposal to turn old coal mine into a holiday park

Public urged to have their say on redevelopm­ent of historical sites

- By Ally McRoberts Reporter amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

VISITORS could soon be enjoying holidays near Blairhall with proposals in for lodges and caravans.

And locals have been invited to view and have their say on plans that would see the redevelopm­ent of a derelict old coal mine.

Castlehill used to employ almost 800 people but closed more than 20 years ago and the abandoned site has sunk into disrepair.

Now residents can go along to a public informatio­n event, between 4pm and 8pm at Blairhall Community Centre on Wednesday December 6, to see what’s in store for the land.

Ben Jurin Architectu­re Ltd, based near Manchester, instructed Dunfermlin­e firm Oliver and Robb Architects to submit a proposal of applicatio­n notice to Fife Council in October.

It gives them 12 weeks for public consultati­on before a full planning applicatio­n can be submitted.

The aim is to gain consent for a change of use for the six hectare site from “former industrial land to holiday lodge / caravan park”.

One consultati­on event has already been held in the village and public feedback may help shape the proposals.

A previous attempt to regenerate the site was made in 2011 when

Lomond Homes outlined proposals for “an attractive, accessible eco village” at the former mine.

However the firm later went into administra­tion.

Castlehill Colliery, south of the A907 Dunfermlin­e to Alloa road, was owned by the National Coal Board and operated from 1965 to 1990.

Together with Bogside and Solsgirth, it provided coal for the Longannet Power Station and was connected by a five mile tunnel.

At its peak almost 800 people worked there.

From 1990 the colliery at Castlehill continued on a care and maintenanc­e basis, used for access and ventilatio­n to the Longannet complex, but it closed for good after the flooding of Longannet in 2002 ended deep coal mining in Scotland.

As well as the holiday park, which would be to the west of Blairhall at Brankstone, the village is also on the doorstep of ambitious proposals to develop another former industrial wasteland at the old Comrie Colliery.

Located just to the north, the huge site could be transforme­d into a major leisure and tourism led developmen­t with plans including an hotel, golf course, housing, holiday accommodat­ion, care village, garden centre, public park, a loch for water sports, a large renewable energy hub, business units and a heritage centre.

 ?? ?? DEVELOPMEN­T: There are big plans for two former coal mines near Blairhall.
DEVELOPMEN­T: There are big plans for two former coal mines near Blairhall.

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