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An Ecovillage Proposal: A partnership project

Sustainable Communities Initiatives is working to create an ecovillage project, which is both educational and residential.

UPDATE - 4th December 2013

SCI has recently had to make the not to resubmit the planning application for the ecovillage at the Widows Land in Burntisland.

It was a practical decision reached by considering our human and financial resources and the plans for 2014, which is the 10th anniversary of the Earthship Fife Visitor Centre. We have a lot to do next year, with many events and activities planned, and hope that we can build on that, and perhaps, in a couple of years re-consider a project as big as the ecovillage.

It was a very difficult decision but one we feel is right.

Thank you for your interest and support for the project.

Paula Cowie

UPDATE - 11th September 2013

We have finally heard the outcome of the planning application for the ecovillage, which, sad to say, is not good news.

The planning officer recommended that the proposal be refused, and at the planning committee meeting the Councillors agreed with his recommendation.

However, on the positive side, the press article, which included Councillors comments, there was a flavour of 2 Cllrs perhaps wanting to pass it but they weren't happy with the overall design of the development.

I have had a chat with the planning officer and he says for him it was all about design – they were looking for something more exemplary and given the status of the site (it has Local Landscape Value because of the Binn Hill) it needs to also be very sympathetic to the landscape and the existing town layout. It is a challenge, but we believe not insurmountable.

Further good news is that the Committee have decided to re-submit the application with a new design. We are currently working on putting the proposal out to tender to a few firms and see if we can afford to re-submit with the funds we have left.

It will be very difficult to get more funding for something that has failed so fingers crossed that what we have left is enough.

The re-submission has to take place within 12 months (to avoid paying planning fees again) and the planning officer has stated he hopes it would go through the system a lot quicker this time. He has also given some very helpful suggestions on how to get the ball rolling with the design process and their team.

All is definitely not lost.

So once again we ask you to dig deep for more patience, and watch this space!

View the Widows Land Proposal information


It has high aims to achieve zero waste and zero energy through a holistic approach to housing, work, transport and food.

The sustainable community project is an ambitious project. It addresses:

  • Waste reduction
  • Climate change
  • Affordable housing
  • Community regeneration
  • Green jobs
  • Education for all ages
  • Land stewardship
  • Transition Communities

Key Factors of the project:

  • Low impact self-build development
  • Major reduction in household waste
  • Major reduction in energy consumption
  • Autonomous water, sewage and power
  • Creation of local employment & social enterprises
  • Integration with wider community
  • Research and monitoring for replication

For more information:

Paula Cowie, Development Manager
Sustainable Communities Initiatives
Kinghorn Loch
Fife KY3 9YG

Tel: 01592 891884