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Members of Levenmouth Area Committee met this morning (Wednesday, November 22). Here is a summary of some of the items discussed and decisions taken.
Funding for next phases of play park improvements
Around £90,000 has been allocated towards play area improvements at three sites in the Levenmouth area.
Local councillors agreed to draw the cash down from the Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to help pay for new play equipment at Lilac Bank in Methil, Christie Park in Leven, and Greig Park in Windygates.
Designs for Lilac Bank and Greig Park have already been worked up, and designs for the revamp at Christie Park are to go before elected members for approval at a later date.
Councillor Colin Davidson, convener of the Levenmouth Area Committee, said: “The investment programme for play spaces within the Levenmouth area has been a key priority for us in recent years, and where possible we’ve been able to work with representatives of the local community who have helped shape the proposals coming forward.
“This will be fantastic news for these communities.”
The funding agreed by committee equates to £30,000 for each development, although the balance of funding for both the Lilac Bank and Greig Park projects will be supported from Scottish Government funding, and in the case of Lilac Bank a separate application for funding from Fife Environment Trust.
The potential to move the current footprint of the Greig Park play area is still to be explored, although costs for a link pathway from Johnston Terrace to improve accessibility as part of the improvement programme are being factored in.
The Christie Park funding package still needs to be fully worked up, but may also benefit from Scottish Government funding and/or cash from alternative sources.
Prom maintenance activities supported
Levenmouth councillors have agreed funding towards a range of maintenance activities along Leven Promenade over the next 18 months or so.
Members of the Levenmouth Area Committee backed plans to use up to £48,500 from a combination of the ward 21 Local Community Planning Budget (LCPB) and the Community Renewal Fund (CRF) to carry out a number of interventions designed to improve the Prom’s appearance and amenity.
The work will include access improvements to recreational grass areas and the beach, the introduction of accessible picnic benches, and repairs to the brick wall from the skateboard park to the end of the Prom.
There will also be work to support the development of sand dunes which, in time, will strengthen coastal protection and improve conservation and biodiversity. Signage will be put in place to explain what is being done to support dune development and how it will contribute to climate change.
Councillor Colin Davidson, convener of Levenmouth Area Committee, noted that most of the improvements planned will take place on the area of the Promenade not currently within the scope of the ongoing master planning exercise for the area.
“These improvements should make a noticeable difference to the Promenade and will complement any future proposals that come forward for the Prom following our recent consultation,” he said.
“These will be quick wins from an environmental perspective, and we all want to see the most made out of what is one of the town’s biggest assets.”
Plans to clad all brick work flower beds with decking to improve their appearance were supported but have been put on hold until a review of proposals to reconstruct the sea wall have been undertaken.
Work will be carried out by maintenance teams from Fife Coast and Countryside Trust, who have a partial responsibility for the Promenade area along with Fife Council Grounds Maintenance.
A separate application to the Leven Common Good Fund to support further improvements is also in the pipeline.
Meanwhile, as part of the wider Levenmouth Connectivity Project, councillors approved plans in principle to introduce raised tables at the entrance to the new Levenmouth Rail Link and Sports Centre Car Park and both accesses to the existing Promenade Car Park to provide continuous footways.
Continuous footways on raised tables improve road safety by reducing vehicle approach and turning speeds as well as giving clear priority to pedestrians and cyclists at road crossing points.
Councillors backed the promotion of the associated Road Hump Order, although the design and size of the raised tables will be subject to further discussions.
A short video highlighting the work is available here.
Leven Links bridge proposals given committee backing
Plans to renew or refurbish three bridges at Leven Links have been given the go ahead by Levenmouth councillors.
Area committee members agreed to set aside funding from the Community Recovery Fund of up to £50,000 to help cover the construction of two new replacement bridge units and the refurbishment of one other, pending full permissions being in place.
With more people expected to visit the area following the reintroduction of the rail link, work will be done on the Leven Thistle Clubhouse Bridge, the Fife Coastal Path Bridge and the 18th Hole Bridge to ensure they can handle more intensive use and have longer lifespans.
The Leven Thistle Clubhouse Bridge is to be upgraded in appearance from the current bare brickwork to blend in with finishes on the adjacent Leven Thistle Golf Clubhouse, while the Fife Coastal Path footbridge is to be replaced with a two-metre wide deck to accommodate higher footfall.
The latter will also play a role in helping to reroute the current Fife Coastal Path in this area onto a more accessible route.
The 18th Hole Bridge’s steelwork is heavily corroded and will therefore be replaced in its entirety on new concrete abutments, with the deck to be widened to 2.6 metres.
Councillor Colin Davidson, committee convener, said: “Leven Links have been collaborating closely with neighbours and partners and FCCT Fife Coast and Countryside Trust in improving the travel network from the Promenade up to Silverburn and the Town Centre.
“The bridges they are looking to improve or upgrade are not only used by golfers but cross to one of the busiest public footpaths in Leven used by the local community.
“The new railway station will mean more people connecting with the Coastal Path and Silverburn from the Promenade and Golf Course area, so increased usage heightens the need for these bridges to be improved both for safety and aesthetic reasons.”
Aside from the bridge project, Leven Links is also looking to improve the external area around the Leven Links professionals’ shop and the first tee, and similarly improve the grassed areas between the three bridges including the provision of seating.
A short video looking at the bridge project is available here.
Other funding requests supported
Two other requests for funding for worthwhile projects were given the go ahead by committee members.
These included a contribution of £27,446 from the Community Recovery Fund (CRF) towards the cost of providing a canopy unit as part of wider improvement work at the Fife Heritage Railway (FHR), and £40,898 from the Local Community Planning Budget Anti-Poverty budget to fund additional costs for the Warm and Welcoming Spaces programme in Levenmouth.
The money for the Fife Heritage Railway will support the group’s Restoration Learning Centre, which aims to pass on restoration skills and help develop the site into a key tourism asset for the area.
Meanwhile, the Warm and Welcoming Spaces programme has supported a wide range of groups and organisations helping to meet demand and need across the community since the pandemic.
The latest funding will sit alongside central funds of £47,000 allocated by the Council to each individual area towards Warm and Welcoming Space provision, and will support various projects needing help with food, equipment, activity, travel and/or running costs this winter.
The full agenda papers are available to view here.