Cupar housing blueprint is given the green light

The plans for Millgate, Cupar have been given the go-ahead
The plans for Millgate, Cupar have been given the go-ahead
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A blueprint for the development of a derelict site in the heart of Cupar’s conservation area has been given the green light.

Members of north east Fife planning committee agreed on Wednesday to approve an application for planning permission in principle for eight flats and four houses as well as the formation of a vehicular access on the site of the former St Columba’s school.

An application for full planning permission will now be lodged by the developer behind the plans, Ciaran Kennedy of KDY Properties.

He hopes to turn the old school building itself into six flats as well as build another eight in the grounds, together with four retirement homes.

In all, there would be accommodation for up to 40, with each house having one parking space.

The homes would all be available to buy privately and would be priced with first-time buyers in mind.

Residents would have easy access to the town centre, says Mr Kennedy, as well as the train station, shops and buses.

“The homes would be built sympathetically to their surroundings and to a standard that we believe will be acceptable to the community,” Mr Kennedy told the community council earlier this year.

However, eight objections to the application were received, including one from Cupar and North Fife Preservation Society.

Access would be via a pend in Millgate and it’s feared that increased traffic on an already busy street would cause problems.

Objectors are concerned that the proposed pend would not be wide enough for emergency vehicles and the increased congestion could prevent fire engines getting through from the fire station farther down Millgate.

And some residents say that parking on street is already difficult and that it would be exacerbated by the extra vehicles.

At Wednesday’s meeting, local councillors Margaret Kennedy and Bryan Poole expressed concerns about the impact the development would have on the already ‘confused’ junction of Millgate and Crossgate.

However planning official Chris Smith said that the proposed development was so small that this was unlikely to be an issue.

In any case, the finer details would be considered when a full application is lodged.

The site has lain derelict for many years and part of it is now used informally as a car park.

A development brief was first prepared back in 2008 but plans were put on hold when the recession hit the construction industry.

Cupar Community Council have given the plans their blessing, saying it would breathe new life into the town.