A WEST FIFE veteran has submitted alternative plans for a controversial plot of land in Dunfermline town centre.

Mike Boyle wants the area of common good land on the corner of New Row and Park Avenue to be turned into a garden of tranquility.

He believes the public will support his idea – for which he has submitted a pre-planning application – where an area would be created for people to commemorate all those who have lost their lives in conflict and in any other tragedy.

However, Mike is now aware that he faces a challenge to see his plans come to fruition as the Alhambra Theatre Trust has already lodged a planning application to have a performing arts centre on the site.

"I was sitting down thinking about various things and that little area," he explained. "We have got people in the British Legion itself who have difficulties in getting to the cenotaph as it is not the easiest place to get to.

"I came up with the idea of a garden of tranquility – a pleasant place to go down and chill and look at things. I thought no-one is using that ground and it could be brought back to life. We don't have a lot of things like that in Dunfermline.

"I didn't know the Alhambra had plans for this when I was thinking about it. When I found this out, I thought, OK, but there is a perfectly acoustically great area in the Glen they could use which doesn't get used.

"What I am proposing would be for a multitude of people. It is a nice trap where you can sit. There is a sheltered housing complex along the way and the ladies from there come and sit in their wheelchairs there as well. To me, that is getting more community use.

"If you put something in the middle and make it a wee bit better, it will make people smile and we can remember people."

The plot was gifted to the 'City and Royal Burgh of Dunfermline' in 1962 by the Carnegie Dunfermline & Hero Fund trustees with a prohibition on development in order that it be maintained as open space.

The Alhambra Theatre Trust want to construct a new performing arts centre and use the common good land as a recreation space for theatre school students with the possibility of it becoming an outdoor performance area.

The Ironmongers Studio would include a theatre with 200 seats, an arthouse cinema and headquarters for the Alhambra Stage and Dance School.

Their application sparked a row last March when the members of Fife Council’s City of Dunfermline area committee agreed to the first step in leasing the piece of common good land to them.

Central Dunfermline Community Council believe the area should stay in public hands and they have already made a complaint to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.

The planning application is still to be considered by councillors and Fife Council told the Press this week that a decision date for this was still to be determined.