A New Industry Park for Dalgety Bay in Fife

4 June 2013 | blog, frameworks, place making, working with industry

Ridge Way, Dalgety Bay
In December 2012, Fife Council commissioned a consultant team led by yellow book with WMUD, Ryden and Nick Wright Planning to produce a regeneration masterplan for the Hillend & Donibristle Industrial Estate (HADIE). The Council’s brief noted that HADIE, like a number of other industrial estates in Fife, is “ageing and not fit for purpose” and has “a legacy of redundant and vacant buildings”. Despite this, the site is an established employment location, situated close to the Forth Bridgehead area, Dalgety Bay town centre, the distributor road network and public transport services. The brief calls for a plan which will capitalise on these opportunities and “make the estate fit for the modern economy”.

Purpose, vision and strategy

The analysis reminds us that, while no one is happy with the present condition of HADIE, it will not be easy to turn its fortunes around. To talk about an “industrial estate” is in truth a misnomer: HADIE is not a single entity, no one owns it, and the site is in multiple ownerships; it has no clear sense of direction and, even though Fife Council has commissioned this study, its influence is severely constrained. The Council’s most powerful lever is planning policy, but the experience of the past few years has shown that policy cannot prevail if it is too sharply at odds with market sentiment.

There is no clear consensus about the best way forward, although everyone recognises that HADIE has changed and most people think that it has declined. A core group of key companies continues to make a strong commitment to HADIE, but their confidence in the long-term future of the site has been eroded; some landowners want to accelerate the process of change, advocating mixed use and residential development; Fife Council continues to champion HADIE as an employment location but has found it increasingly difficult to sustain that position.

Against this backdrop, the purpose of the action plan is threefold:

  1. to articulate a compelling, credible and deliverable vision for the medium- to long-term future of HADIE
  2. to create a proposition that provides incentives for landowners and occupiers to invest in HADIE and deliver the vision
  3. to map out a funding strategy for development and ongoing site management/maintenance at HADIE

The 5-10 year vision is to reinvent HADIE as a modern industry park in Dalgety Bay which will be an attractive and competitive location close to the Forth Bridgehead for manufacturing and technology businesses. The international businesses based in the new industry park will make a significant contribution to Scottish exports and provide sustainable, high quality jobs for workers in Fife and beyond. The redevelopment of the western gateway area will create facilities and services for businesses and residents that will complement both the revitalised employment area and the town centre. The new industry park will offer a new kind of working environment for businesses and their employees in a productive landscape.

The strategy for achieving this vision is framed around six key objectives:

  1. to establish the right planning policy framework, designed to ensure that Dalgety Bay continues to be a strategically significant location for manufacturing industry
  2. to deliver investment and reinvestment in property, especially for manufacturing and other employment uses
  3. to establish a strong brand identity for the industry park
  4. to ensure that the site infrastructure meets the requirements of occupiers and future investors
  5. to transform the site through an attractive and distinctive landscape strategy
  6. to establish a robust and sustainable business model for the development, management and promotion of the industry park

Analysis and Proposals

Hillend and Donibristle Industrial Estate Photogallery

Willie Miller, the founder and principal of WMUD, died on 12th January 2021 after a short illness. Willie was a much-loved husband and father and had a huge circle of friends  and professional colleagues. He was a multi-talented urban designer whose work had a major impact on hundreds of cities, towns and neighbourhoods throughout the UK and over the past 25 years. He also worked in Ireland, the Channel Islands and the USA.

Ines Triebel has been with WMUD since 2005, and she will continue the practice, drawing on her skills as a planner and designer. Ines has worked on place strategies, masterplans, policy guidance, regeneration and development frameworks, and the design of public realm and streetscape projects. She has extensive experience of working with communities, including charrettes.

WMUD will continue its long-standing strategic partnerships with Benton Scott-Simmons, Nick Wright Planning, Kevin Murray Associates, icecream architecture, yellow book and others. Please direct inquiries to Ines at [email protected] or contact any of the practices named above.