Levenmouth’s people and businesses are being urged to have their say on two major projects happening in the area over the coming months and years.
Substantial investment is being made in the area to develop active travel routes and regenerate the River Leven.
With that in mind, we’re seeking the public’s views on those ambitious proposals, to not only help shape them moving forward but also ensure they best reflect the needs and wishes of local communities.
The Levenmouth Connectivity Project aims to reconnect the area’s communities through the creation of a safe and attractive active travel network that will be accessible to all.
A series of key improvements are planned that will make it easier and safer for people wishing to get around by walking, wheeling and cycling, and will also include links to and from new railway stations planned at Leven and Cameron Bridge as part of the Levenmouth Rail Link.
The Restoring the River Leven Project aims to improve a two-and-a-half mile stretch of the river from Windygates to Leven.
A range of proposals are being put forward that are designed to help restore the river for the benefit of local people and wildlife. These include making it easier for fish to move up and downstream of the Burn Mill and Kirkland Dams to breed and thrive.
As both projects are closely linked, two public consultations have now opened and will run parallel with one another – with people able to give feedback in a range of ways.
Councillor Altany Craik, Fife Council spokesperson for finance, economy and strategic planning, said: “With so much going on and planned in Levenmouth, I’d urge everyone to have a look at these proposals and participate in these consultations.
“As a Council, we understand the benefits of active and sustainable travel when it comes to establishing healthier and greener communities across the region, and we also want to make the most of the amazing natural assets we have on our doorstep.
“Safe and accessible infrastructure allows people to make sustainable travel choices, but these routes have to be practical for people to use in their everyday lives. That’s why it’s important for communities to help shape the designs, so please have your say.”
Alan McCulloch, Unit Manager for the Water Environment Fund (WEF) at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said: “Rivers are a vital part of our landscape and a great asset to Scotland.
“Partnership work, such as the Restoring the River Leven project, is more important than ever as we respond to our changing climate, work to improve biodiversity and the need for more quality greenspace within our communities.
“The Water Environment Fund (WEF), which SEPA manages on behalf of the Scottish Government, enables projects like this to happen; directly tackling the industrial legacy of the river, while enabling fish to move further upstream and enhancing the local river environment for people to enjoy.”
Jeremy Harris, Fife Coast and Countryside Trust CEO, commented: “At Fife Coast and Countryside Trust we recognise the value of the outdoors. We also know there are many challenges facing the natural world.
“We believe that by providing better connections, we will find solutions to these challenges. It may be a footpath, a guided walk, or a restoration project.
“Whatever the vehicle, the goal remains the same; to connect people with the natural world that supports them.
“The Restoring the River Leven project does just that. We are delighted to be working with Fife Council and the SEPA Water Environment Fund team to help develop and deliver restoration options in the Levenmouth area.
“Hearing what people think of the proposals is critical and will help shape how the project develops moving forward.”
Emilie Wadsworth, Operations Director at Green Action Trust, who are leading on the development of the river routes as part of the Leven Connectivity Project, said: “The Leven Programme partners are working together to create opportunities for all to be able to travel more sustainably and have a healthy, safe environment in which to work, live and play.
“Getting the views and input of the community is vital in developing plans that will serve their needs.
“This is the first step in a year-long engagement process which will include more opportunities for input into the Connectivity Project river routes, and also the Leven River Parks project - a National Lottery Heritage Funded development year that will gather ideas and designs for the creation of river parks alongside the routes as outlined in the Leven Masterplan.”
A link to the consultations can be found here, where people can view the plans and give feedback.
We are also hosting two drop-in community information events, where people can come along in person and find out more about what’s proposed. There will also be members of the respective project teams on hand to answer questions and take views on board.
Those public consultation events have been arranged as follows:
The Restoring the River Leven Project consultation closes on December 11, while the Levenmouth Connectivity Project consultation closes on December 16.
The Levenmouth Connectivity Project is being funded by the Scottish Government’s Places for Everyone, administered by Sustrans. Places for Everyone aims to create safer, more attractive, healthier, and inclusive places by increasing and diversifying the number of trips made by walking, wheeling, or cycling for everyday journeys.
The Restoring the River Leven Project is funded by the Water Environment Fund, administered by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on behalf of the Scottish Government. SEPA works in partnership with local authorities, land and structure owners, fishery trusts and conservation bodies to deliver an annual programme of projects.