MULTI-MILLION pound plans for a major development in Fife with 200 homes, a hotel and a new country park could be unveiled later this year.

The ‘Northern Gateway’ project forms part of an ambitious vision for agricultural land at Castlandhill, Rosyth, west of the M90 motorway, and aims to boost the economy by attracting visitors and investment into the self-styled ‘Forth Fife’ area.

There are no detailed plans as yet but property consultants Bidwells, acting on behalf of the Alfred Stewart Property Foundation Limited, have submitted an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) screening request to Fife Council for “residential, leisure and woodland development”.

Central to the masterplan is the creation of Queensferry Country Park, a huge 113-acre ‘legacy’ park which would attract visitors from near and far.

A visitor complex complete with hotel and leisure facilities is also envisaged, while up to 200 homes could be created to the north and west of the massive site surrounding Castlandhill House.

A spokesperson for Bidwells confirmed it was an “exciting development opportunity” but said it was in the early stages of planning and could not comment further.

However, it is understood those behind the project believe the site could deliver a landmark attraction that would encourage both increased direct tourism and inform visitors of the wider opportunities in West Fife and beyond. 

Documents submitted suggest cycle paths and rights of way will be incorporated into the Castlandhill masterplan, designed to improve active transport links between the site and Rosyth.

“The formation of the woodland park, which will be a major new area of open space and woodland for community use, would provide the opportunity to be maximised for the local and wider community,” they added.

“This part of Fife has limited major areas of high-quality open space and areas such as this have been shown to have significant health, wellbeing and environmental benefits. 

“A landscape-designed woodland that will provide a landmark area of open space for this and future generations.”

The site was allocated partially for housing in the Fife Local Development Plan for around 150 houses, although the proposed masterplan is looking at nearer 200 homes.

“The net result would be a residential development with new access points adjacent to residential areas of Rosyth,” they continued.

The plans would aim to make the most of the site’s position in the shadow of the Forth bridges, with good transport connections by air, road and rail.

The nearby docks also have the infrastructure to facilitate cross-national and international ferry sailings, and the nearby Inverkeithing railway station is on the main East Coast line. 

The proximity to Edinburgh Airport is also thought to be a major selling point.

The project was put forward to the Scottish Government to be given national development status as part of the ‘Scotland 2045: Our Fourth National Planning Framework’ process.

However, while an assessment concluded it had the potential for positive effects on people and places, the project was deemed eventually not suitable for such status as it had the potential for negative effects on climate change, was “potentially inconsistent” with the Scottish Government’s spatial strategy and would only have a “sub-national impact”. 

Nevertheless, those behind the ambitious vision for Castlandhill appear to be pressing ahead without the Scottish Government’s implicit backing.