Anger over housing development plans

Residents shared their frustration over a potential housing development   Pic Neil Hanna
Residents shared their frustration over a potential housing development Pic Neil Hanna

Concerned residents of three communities voiced frustrations on Monday night over a potential large-scale housing development.

Bruce Weir, director of CW Properties, attended the Kilrenny, Anstruther and Cellardyke Community Council meeting to discuss possible plans for land between Cellardyke and Kilrenny.

The field on the north side of the Crail Road is the last open space between the two communities.

While Mr Weir told the audience he had a “blank canvas” and would not discuss the number of houses that could be involved, a previous application by the company to have the land included in Fife Council’s local development plan, FIFEplan, said it was suitable for 240 homes.

Mr Weir said a potential development would be years away, with the company’s focus being on ensuring the site was included in the next 
FIFEplan.

Such was the level of interest from locals, the meeting, usually held in the Burgh Chambers in the Town Hall, had to be moved to the main chamber to accommodate everyone.

Mr Weir spoke for around 45 minutes, discussing the site and fielding questions.

However, the presentation did not receive a warm reception and most took the opportunity to vent frustration.

The first member of the audience to speak said: “You’re going to have a fight on your hands.”

Another asked: “How do we oppose this? How do we stop it?”

And Mr Weir got a negative response from the audience when he asked: “What about the people who don’t live here who would like to move? Do you not accept that Anstruther has to have space to grow?”

One member of audience said: “We’ve been telling you that we don’t want you in Anstruther. We do not want you in this room. We do not want you in this town.

“We will lose what we love about the town.

“We will fight.”

When asked about why Anstruther had been chosen for a development, Mr Weir explained that the company had looked at how the town could grow and said Anstruther was of interest to house builders.

Members of the public asked the councillors in attendance how to oppose the plans. Cllr Linda Holt replied that they had to write to Fife Council during the consultation phase of the next local development plan.

Speaking to the Mail after the meeting, Mr Weir said: “When we promote these sites we always expect a battle.

“We get a lot of people for, but those people tend to sit and say not much, and people who are against say quite a lot.

“This is nothing new.”

Mr Weir said he would return in the future to speak about the landscape impact report.