The planning application for the eco-village on the Widows Land site was submitted to Fife council by SCI in July 2012 and after a considerable delay of 14 months, a decision was eventually made to reject the application in Sept 2013.
SCI took time to examine the reasons and discovered there were in fact a lot of positive comments about the project, and most of the criteria that the planners were looking for had been met. However there were a few aspects of the application that needed more attention, some because of the challenging nature of the site, and some relating to the planners’ wish to have a project that was more visually inspiring, fitting into the landscape and being an exemplar of new sustainable building methods.
It had already been a long process and SCI had to think about how to proceed. Resubmitting the plans would inevitably take time and money. Although SCI felt confident that a successful application can be made, they have had to take the difficult decision to put the eco-village project on hold for the time being.
SCI is a small charity and there is a danger of over-stretching the organisation, and taking on too many projects at once. The resources SCI has, and for a small organisation they are impressive, will be better used in 2014 on a celebratory programme to mark the 10th anniversary of the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre at Kinghorn Loch.
SCI has planned a host of activities, events and gatherings at the Earthship in the coming year, so please keep your eyes open for further news and details of what promises to be an excellent year of sustainable community initiatives.
All the committee, staff and volunteers at SCI and the Earthship would like to extend a warm thank you to all those who helped, commented on, supported and added momentum to our efforts with the ecovillage over the past 2 years. Although we are disappointed that the eco-village project has to be put on the back burner for the time being, we would like to express our sincere thanks to all who were involved with us on our journey. We would also like to let you know that the work was not wasted, we have gained knowledge and skills, and importantly local enthusiasm for the project. We will rely on all of these when the project starts up again and we can tackle it with renewed vigour.
Paula Cowie, Development Manager