Mon 14 Aug 17
Nearly 2000 people have voted for their favourite conservation area in Fife following a three month online vote.
The vote, hosted by Fife’s Council’s Tourism Team, coincided with the 50th anniversary of the Civic Amenities Act which first established conservation areas.
Conservation areas were introduced in response to widespread public concern over the pace of redevelopment in Britain’s historic towns and cities. A Conservation Area is typically designated for part or all of a village or urban area which has particular architectural or historic interest. It is recognised by this designation that conservation areas have a special character and appearance worthy of protection and enhancement.
Cllr Neil Crooks, Convener of the Kirkcaldy Area Committee said: “Burntisland is a worthy winner. The conservation area contains two churches of note, the Kirkton Old Church from the 12th century and the parish church, a mere youngster from the 1590s where the bible in English, as opposed to Latin, was first decided upon. The fantastic natural harbour and abundant local resources of limestone and coal, caused it to become an important port, known as the Port of Grace, later a railway hub, shipbuilding centre and major ferry crossing before the Forth Bridge. Industry and trade continued with the Grange distillery and the aluminium works. In the 19th century, its superb sandy beach led to its development as a place to “take the waters”. Today Burntisland has, like most places, grown and spread, but the conservation area is still recognisable and there is a strong local identity.”
Cllr Altany Craik, Convener of the Economy, Tourism, Strategic Planning & Transportation Committee, said: “The vote to find Fife’s top conservation area has been a great success and has hopefully reached new audiences and made more people aware of the beautiful and interesting historic places we have in Fife. They contribute to our economy, environment and, arguably, to our wellbeing. Whether the areas are well-known tourist destinations or only known by those local to the area, each site is a great asset to the Kingdom and held in great affection.”
Fiona Fisher, Conservation Officer, had the idea for the poll. “I am delighted at the response to the poll and the final result. We have 48 conservation areas in Fife which reflects the rich built heritage we enjoy in our area and it would have been a difficult choice for voters. As well as encouraging people to vote, I hoped to spread the word about the positive benefits of the wonderful conservation areas we have in Fife, our rich and varied heritage. It is intended to mark Burntisland’s achievement and to erect a plaque on a suitable wall in the conservation area.”