Bankie Park Reinvents Itself, Now Fife Council Gloms onto Land

Bankie Park, Anstruther’s open green space used by all ages for all reasons of outdoor enjoyment, is under threat from Fife Council, and area residents are putting up a fight and letting loose with their displeasure and disagreement at what Fife Council would like to do.

A petition has already gotten 1344 signatures — to add your name, go to Change.Org and sign up at:  steve.grimmond@fife.gov.uk: Save Our Parkland – Keep Bankie Park Green” .   Steve Grimmond is Fife Council’s chief executive.  Another contact to send along comments and feedback is:  Vivienne.McBride@fife.gov.uk.   This initial consultation stage lasts until Friday, July 27, for Fife Council to receive feedback — so it’s imperative that you make your thoughts known.

MSP Steven Gethins will be at Bankie Park on Friday, July 6, at 1pm to hear comments and criticisms of this plan,  and the Anstruther Community Council has added Bankie Park to it’s agenda for the Monday, July 9 meeting (7:30, Anstruther Lower Town Hall).

What’s at stake:   Fife Council wants to replace the nearby care home of Ladywalk House, which is aging into obsolescence,  with a newer facility which will take over land in Bankie Park and encroach on space now used by kids, sports groups, dog walkers, and others.  Supposedly, the space now inhabited by the Ladywalk House will be returned to parkland after the old facility is demolished and the new care home is built.

Bankie Park, in just the last few years, has been an on-going and successful project of renovation, refurbishment, and upgrading.  Play equipment was replaced and new play pieces added, a country garden planted for kids to enjoy, and just within the last year a cycle road was incorporated to wend through the park’s space.  Picnic tables enable families to enjoy a summer meal in fading sunlight as wee ones have one last climb, jump, twirl, or slide on the activity and coordination-enhancing play pieces.

Such efforts represent hundreds of thousands of pounds from Fife Council for structural ground changes, while additional money was raised by the Friends of Bankie Park to refurbish the play areas — a ten year effort of coffee mornings and special fund-raising activities. It is a family-friendly, all-ages-useable area that meets the needs of area residents, but now Fife Council wants to use part of the park for a new care home.

Susanne McElhinney, Keep Bankie Park Green’s spokesperson, said,   “We put blood, sweat and tears into this park because we know it was the lifeblood of the community…now all our hard work is not just being ignored but completely undone….to build over this land would leave nowhere for our children to play within walking distance and will take away the only green space we have, which isn’t even that large.”

This initial consultation process continues until Friday, July 27, and the public are encouraged to make their feelings known before this deadline date.  Proposals for the new care home can be viewed at Anstruther Town Hall and Library, the East Neuk Centre, the Waid Community Campus, the Dreel Halls and the Anstruther Post Office.

 

 

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