A NEW planning application has been submitted for a new play park at Lochore Meadows that promises to be the "first of its kind in Scotland".

And it confirms Fife Council's proposals have been changed to ensure the events space used for Rockore, the gala day and pipe band competitions at the country park will be maintained.

The issue has been hugely controversial as the initial plans would have seen the loss of the area used for these big crowd-pleasing gigs while the project has also been dogged by delays due to spiralling costs.

However, after locals made their feelings known, the council changed their plans in February and the application confirms that state-of-the-art and inclusive facilities for all kids will be located to the west of the visitor centre.

A council report confirmed: "It is closer to the location of the current play park and would avoid any impact on the events area."

Central Fife Times: The existing play park at Lochore Meadows. The existing play park at Lochore Meadows. (Image: Fife Council)

They've also amended their proposals to retain the popular 'volcano' play feature.

The Meedies attracts around 900,000 visitors every year and if planning permission is granted, work could start later this year and the play park open in 2024.

Expanding on the plans, they said: "The play park equipment design has been altered slightly to accommodate the request to consider pieces of kit that are suitable for older children.

"We have taken the opportunity to also add a ‘sensory dome’ for all ages and abilities to play together into the costed design plans too.

"It combines climbing with a range of sensory play and would be the first of its kind in Scotland!"

The new equipment will be installed between the current play park and the designated events space.

Central Fife Times: The initial plans for the play park at Lochore Meadows threatened the future of events like Rockore.The initial plans for the play park at Lochore Meadows threatened the future of events like Rockore. (Image: David Wardle)

The report continued: "We gathered feedback from over 1,000 people about our proposal for a new accessible destination playpark.

"Overall, people were broadly supportive of the design proposed and equipment included but did not wish to pursue a playpark located on an area of land that is currently designated for events space.

"There was also a fairly strong desire to retain the ‘volcano’ feature."

If the plans get the go-ahead the current playpark would close when work begins on site.

However, the contractor can provide temporary play equipment, to be located on the grass area in front of the visitor centre, while the new play park is under construction.

The council added: "The footprint would begin to the south of the Fairy Trail footpath and extending to the current playpark’s ‘volcano’.

"This maximises the opportunity to add play value whilst minimising costs in site preparation, earth works and other associated issues that are anticipated with a build on the site of the current playpark."

The new playground will feature accessible paths that take children through distinct zones – toddler, junior, dynamic, and sensory.

There will be hammocks, rope play, and trampolines dispersed throughout. 

The plans include dynamic swings, spinners and an inclusive wheelchair roundabout and swing as well as a racing double cableway. 

There will also be ramps, tube slides, inclined nets with rollers, and “many opportunities for exciting play, both at low level and at height.” 

“We have chosen items to engage the users for hours on end and entice them to come back and discover more,” the plans state. 

Central Fife Times: The plans for Lochore Meadows also include 'natural play areas'. The plans for Lochore Meadows also include 'natural play areas'. (Image: Fife Council)

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 at the end of last year.

The council 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.