Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

Images courtesy of Boomhaus

The development of an eco-wellness park on the former Barony Colliery in Auchinleck has moved a step closer following the granting of planning permission in principle by East Ayrshire Council subject to conditions.

The Barony NP (UK) Ltd will now follow up with applications delivering various elements of the scheme.

Allocated for recreational and leisure uses by East Ayrshire Council, the Barony Eco-Wellness Park is proposed to be the first true nature-based wellbeing destination in Europe. Enhancing the tourism industry in East Ayrshire, it will establish a template for the delivery of ecotherapy destinations in different locations across the world.

Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

Incorporating managed planting of Scottish flora to increase biodiversity and encourage future natural development, the proposed non-exclusive health and wellness destination will stimulate local economic growth, and encourage significant inward investment, creating local jobs. It will also support many more in the business supply chain, where priority will be given to local trades and businesses.

Education, training and work opportunities for young and vulnerable adults of all ages will be a priority, with volunteering opportunities offered in a welcoming and safe environment.

A mining heritage museum is proposed to reconnect the local community with the former coal site, also paying tribute to the industry and those who worked in the mine, especially those who suffered injury or who lost their lives.

Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

The development will also aim to incorporate and demonstrate the latest in renewable energy technology, including geothermal energy from the warm mine water beneath the surface.

A proportion of the profits accrued from the development by National Pride UK CIC will be reinvested back into community wellbeing projects and to support NHS student training.

The application received strong backing from local organisations including Ayrshire Chamber of Commerce, Auchinleck Community Council and Auchinleck Community Development Initiative (ACDI).

Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

Irene Bisset, chair of National Pride UK, said: “We are delighted that this scheme has been approved for planning permission in principle (PPiP) today and would like to thank the Council Planning Officers for their support. As the project develops, we look forward to continuing to work with them in delivering this.

“We understand and accept the imposed conditions including the mitigation of any adverse impacts on the biodiverse nature networks and the natural environment on this site, which we will achieve through careful planning and design.

“Our hope is to continue to work collaboratively with all stakeholders to deliver wholly sustainable and ecologically friendly solutions that will achieve the best development outcome for this beautiful site.

Ayrshire Eco-Wellness Park gets green light in principle

“We would also like to recognise and appreciate the significant support of local groups in backing our proposals and to convey our sincere thanks to them for this.”

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