THE businessman behind plans for a new antiques centre in Cupar has moved to allay concerns raised by neighbours.
A consortium headed by Ken Robb, who owns Kingdom Antiques in the Bonnygate, hopes to turn the former crash repair centre on Front Lebanon into an auction house, antiques market, art gallery and cafe.
But a number of people living in the area have voiced fears over increased traffic and ongoing construction work.
Locals have also complained of a lack of consultation, disputing claims made by the applicants’ agent that they were ‘canvassed’ about the proposals early on in the planning process.
However, Mr Robb insists he did seek initial feedback and said he had been visiting neighbours to discuss the plans ahead of the consultation period ending this week.
He told the Fife Herald: “We spoke to at least five people from the area in the early stages and all the feedback was positive.
“Last Sunday we knocked on doors and spoke to many more residents, and again we were encouraged by what we heard.”
Cupar Community Council has told Fife Council it supports the development, which it believes will ‘enhance the area considerably’.
But the community group said it hopes concerns over traffic management will be taken into account.
Worried Front Lebanon resident George Houston wrote on the council’s planning website: “We are specifically concerned about the hazards involved in the increase of traffic in the locality, and the impact this will have on the local residents and pedestrians moving through Front Lebanon.
“This street is a 20mph street due to the proximity of the nearby primary school, and it is important that, with the narrow bridge over the Lady Burn nearby, traffic movement is seen to be a major consideration for this planning application.”
Mr Robb said: “In terms of traffic management, we are working closely with Fife Council’s transportation department.
“We are planning on re-opening the entrance to the site from Burnside North.
“Traffic would enter there and leave via Front Lebanon, so there wouldn’t be cars going in and out all over the place.”
He added: “The work that has already taken place has involved things like securing the building, fixing vandalism and creating internal divisions.
“We haven’t done anything we’re not entitled to do or would require planning permission.”
Mr Robb says the venture, if given the green light, would bring 60 to 80 jobs to Cupar and involve £5 million worth of investment.