Redevelopment of ‘scar’ on landscape nears completion

Image: Fife Council

FIFE Council has said it is ready to take ownership of a former mining site currently being redeveloped.

The Blair House site and Comrie Bing at the former Comrie Coillery site were left derelict following the liquidation of Scottish Coal in 2013.

Described by the local authority as ‘scars’ on the landscape of south and west Fife, restoration, removal and reinstatement works have been carried out at the Blair House site thanks to a £3.1 million bond fund secured prior to the mining beginning.

The council said that public footpaths and bridleways lost when the Blair house site was a working quarry have now been reinstated and local access to the site has been ‘greatly’ improved – including the provision of a new wooden footbridge.

Further to this, a lochan has been created on site with barrier planting and other passive measures in place to ensure public safety. The lochan of ground water will regulate itself in response to rainfall and overflow into the local network of burns.

Also on site is a memorial to the nine miners who lost their lives in an underground fire in the Jersey Seam, Number 2 Pit at the Kinneddar Colliery on 31st May 1895. A dedication ceremony for the memorial is planned, as timing and Covid-19 restrictions allow.

However, the council said that Comrie Colliery Bing site represents a different mining legacy issue, with it ‘adversely’ affecting the landscape of West Fife. With no remediation fund for the site, the local authority said it is a more challenging task to achieve the complete removal of the bing and see the site restored.

Councillor Alice McGarry, convener of the South and West Fife area committee, said, “It’s heartening to hear that the Blair House site is now being opened up. I hope it becomes a great natural asset to the people of Oakley.

“Fife Council, will continue to work closely with the new owners of the Comrie Bing site. We need to ensure that restoration of the site continues to progress while protecting local residents during the restoration process.”