COMMON sense was "the only winner" after a compromise was agreed over the location of a new playpark at Lochore Meadows.

Fife Council had approved plans for a new £800,000 facility but there was a furore when it was discovered it included the area where community events are held.

Benarty Events Group warned that could jeopardise the future of their Rockore music festival, as well as other big dates on the calendar such as the gala, but yesterday councillors agreed to change the proposed site of the playpark.

Work should now begin this year and Eddie Easson told the Times: "As chairman of the Benarty Events Group I would like to state the group are happy with the compromise proposed.

"Although it must be said that we wanted the new play area to be where the old one was. Our fear is that the agreement won't be kept.

"We agreed the new playpark would be placed behind the existing bandstand, if it goes any further up the events field it will drastically affect our events."

As well as Rockore, big events at the Meedies include pipe band competitions, Highland dancing and the annual Benarty Gala day.

Eddie added: "We still feel this was handled badly by Fife Council from the start, information was held back.

"The future of the group's events and what they bring to the Benarty area were never taken into consideration until the workshops.

"The only winner here was common sense."

At yesterday's Cowdenbeath area committee, councillors agreed the new playpark could be built on land between the existing playpark and the event space.

Convener, Councillor Alex Campbell, said: "We met with Benarty Events Group at the Meedies and we understand they put a massive amount of work into the park, as other groups do too.

"We managed to get the footprint size of the playpark and it fits in the proposal site.

"We have listened to the communities in the consultation and had Benarty Events Group down and they are extremely happy.

"Councillors involved have done their bit to make this happen.

"For me this has been going on way too long to deliver the playpark and it's now about time to stop talking and start working and get this delivered for the bairns to use as soon as we can."

Quizzed about the new location, Sarah Roxburgh, community manager for Cowdenbeath area, confirmed: "It would not encroach on the current event space."

She added: "If we were taking any information to any prospective contractor, we would be defining where that boundary line has to be and where they could not work beyond."

The council had hoped to open a new £800,000 playpark in Spring 2022 but the project was hit by various problems and work never started.

The biggest obstacle was the proposed location and that was borne out in another public consultation the local authority launched at the end of 2022.

Ms Roxburgh said there was an "absolutely huge response" with 188,000 people engaged with social media posts, 1,082 responses to the online survey, feedback from 928 school pupils and 100 people attending workshops at the Willie Clarke Centre in the park.

She told the committee: "Specifically on the three areas we were asked to focus on – the playpark, events space and nature area – it's clear from all the engagement and consultation that there is support for a new inclusive playpark but not in an area that will impact on the current event space."

The new location will allow for a nature reserve area to be created too.

The committee were told that, with some bushes and scrub being thinned out, the events field would actually be bigger than before.

Councillors praised the work done by officers to consult and come up with a compromise and welcomed assurances that the event space would not be lost.

The council now plan to draw up, after a further series of "engagement opportunities" with the public, a wider development plan for the country park.

That may include other potential projects and ideas, such as a donation box for car parking, the reinstatement of the little train, bike trails, a farm shop and more opportunities for education and learning.