Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data  © Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2010 Licence number 0100031673

Reproduced from Ordnance Survey digital map data © Crown copyright, All rights reserved. 2010 Licence number 0100031673

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Fife Greenspace

Fife, Fife Council

In late 2011, OPEN was appointed by Fife Council to prepare a report on the potential for temporary greenspace on six vacant and derelict sites across the Fife area. The project included a contextual study of the sites, liaison with landowners, and development of appropriately detailed design proposals for the site’s temporary ‘meanwhile’ use in the provision of greenspace. Proposals explored the feasibility of greenspace on the identified sites with potential uses ranging from active recreation and access through to biodiversity improvements and community growing.

Fife has nearly 900 hectares of vacant and derelict land and almost one third of the Local Authority’s homes are within 500m of a derelict site. Furthermore, the amount of vacant and derelict land being brought back into use has reduced in recent years due the economic downturn whilst new vacant and derelict sites continue to appear.

Fife Council identified the need to reduce the amount of vacant and derelict land as a major priority, and this project is one of a range of actions being progressed through a cross team working group within Fife Council to counter the issues associated with underused and derelict land.

The project is a natural progression to the reporting OPEN undertook for Edinburgh; it explores ways in which lessons learnt in another city can be applied to new contexts and site constraints.

Six sites were identified by Fife Council as having a particular fit with the Central Scotland Green Network Development Fund criteria. Six vacant and derelict sites were identified as being suitable for detailed investigation regarding the benefits of undertaking temporary greening activity. OPEN undertook a process of engagement with the landowners and local community representatives in order to identify aspirations for each of the sites. This consultation guided the resulting detailed design proposals, prepared in order to facilitate future funding applications for implementation.

The designs form an evidence base for future actions, and the study document report gives Fife Council an approach and methodology which can be re-used and repeated for other sites in the future. To assist this, the report offers general advice on the types of issues to be addressed when dealing with vacant and derelict land and sets out lessons learnt, providing a model which can be applied to other sites. The report provides guidance which communities or other groups, including landowners, can use to take forward greenspace proposals.