Brown Accused over Bid to Build on Carnegie's Paradise Park

Article excerpt

Byline: MARCELLO MEGA

CHANCELLOR Gordon Brown has been dragged into a row over 'secret' plans to build a [pounds sterling]30 million business school in a park bequeathed by Andrew Carnegie.

The MP caused a furore in the constituency he represented for 22 years when a bid to deflect criticism over job losses backfired spectacularly.

Mr Brown - who was the Dunfermline East MP until boundary changes in 1999 - had been touring Rosyth Dockyard in February when news broke that the nearby Lexmark factory was to close with the loss of 500 jobs.

Shortly afterwards, the Chancellor, who now represents Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath but who was then in the area campaigning for Labour candidate Catherine Stihler, disclosed plans for the multimillion pound Harvard-style institution.

But the site of the venture is believed to be Pittencrieff Park, gifted to Dunfermline by Andrew Carnegie. Long considered the jewel in the Fife town's crown, the park was described by the philanthropist as 'paradise'.

Carnegie Dunfermline Trust, which manages the park, has attempted to dismiss speculation.

But it has emerged that it recently petitioned the Privy Council seeking new powers to allow development in the park.

The move has been approved and is currently awaiting the Royal Seal to formalise it.

Pittencrieff Park, also known as the Glen, will then be divided into two areas - with a central core that will remain protected and an outer area which would be available for development.

Local Labour MSP Scott Barrie has gone on the offensive, saying the Dunfermline business school will be in the Glen or not at all.

But a campaign is under way by local residents to halt any development on the park.

Tom Minogue, a retired businessman, said: 'This is an insult to Andrew Carnegie. …