Plans lodged for East Ayrshire eco-therapy wellness park
A planning application has been submitted to East Ayrshire Council for an environmentally sensitive Eco-Therapy Wellness Park.
If approved, the park will be located on the site of the former Barony Colliery, near Auchinleck.
As a development that will assist in tackling the climate emergency, aiming to showcase the latest in renewable energy technology, it is highly appropriate that it is being submitted during the holding of the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.
The Barony Eco-Therapy Wellness Park will occupy 108.8 acres should it be consented. It is being progressed by Barony NP (UK) Limited, a joint venture company between National Pride UK and IntroCrowd, Barony Wellness will be a non-exclusive health and wellness destination, providing active health and mental relaxation facilities, accessible and affordable for all.
The facilities will comprise spa, gym and pool areas, indoor and outdoor exercise and craft activities, as well as overnight accommodation, allowing guests to relax and rehabilitate whilst ‘getting back to nature’.
Further amenities will aim to include a small distillery, using natural ingredients grown on site, and a mining heritage museum. This will pay tribute to the industry, respecting the community and those that worked in the mine and that lost their lives. The project will also include a path for the public to enjoy a walk adjacent to the Lugar Water and include refreshment areas showcasing quality, healthy yet affordable dining experiences.
The Barony NP (UK) Limited, which has a core ethos to create an ecologically sustainable and ethical development, completed the purchase of the site as from Hargreaves Land in July 2020 and is endeavouring to create a beautiful and restful place for all to enjoy.
Education and training opportunities, especially for vulnerable adults, will be a priority and the project will create significant local employment. It will also prioritise support for local businesses and jobs in the supply chain. Volunteering opportunities will also be offered for those of all ages and abilities in a welcoming and safe environment.
Natural woodland at the location will be sensitively recrafted to enable visitors to develop mental and physical strengths and personal resilience, as well as being a restfulness centre for sufferers of life-changing illnesses and conditions.
The Barony project is an ‘off grid’ economically sustainable development centred around an ecologically friendly carbon sink. A ‘carbon sink’ is anything that absorbs more carbon from the atmosphere than it releases.
With a commitment to a net-zero carbon plus development, assisting in tackling the climate emergency, it aims to revolutionise how renewable energy can be generated. Harnessing existing and new renewable energy technologies it will act as a centre of excellence for these.
All that remains of the former Barony Colliery at ground level is a huge pit-heading winding gear frame, the Barony A-Frame, testament to the industrial heritage of the site.
Barony NP (UK) Limited will support The Barony A-Frame Trust in the rehabilitation of the ‘Memorial Garden’ dedicated to those miners who tragically lost their lives in the coal mine from 1908-1969. The rehabilitation and enhancement of the Garden will be a place of tribute and remembrance for the local community and a permanent reminder of the area’s mining heritage.
A proportion of the profits from the development will be reinvested back into community wellbeing projects and support NHS student training.
Extensive community consultation has been undertaken in advance of submitting the planning application, including two consultation events. Should things go according to plan it is anticipated that, planning permission permitting, construction could start on site in quarter three 2022 with it completing at the end of 2024.
Irene Bisset, chair of National Pride UK, commented: “We are incredibly excited to be submitting the planning application for Barony Wellness to East Ayrshire Council.
“At The Barony visitors can expect a safe, restful and enlivening environment in which to relax, rejuvenate and be healthy in mind and body, developing their mental and physical strength and personal resilience.
“We are also committed to create a destination that will provide significant community benefits to the area. Given COP26 it is also highly appropriate that we are delivering a development that is assisting in tackling the climate emergency, aiming to showcase the latest in renewable energy technology.
“Throughout the process we have engaged extensively with the local community and the support we have received to date for our proposals has been amazing.”