THE landowners of Buckhaven’s former Diosynth plant say they’re “not being given a fair crack of the whip” in their attempts to redevelop the site.
Owner Janette Penman has submitted proposals to Fife Council to build a care home, a sheltered housing complex, health clinic and 64 homes at the Muiredge site.
Her plans were included in a report presented to councillors of the Levenmouth area committee when they met at Carberry House, Leven on Wednesday.
Members were asked to pass on their thoughts on the application, which is considered contrary to the area’s Development Plan, before it is put to a pre-determination hearing for the council’s planning committee.
The council has already earmarked the site as being key to the development of a carbon investment park, which would support work at Methil’s Energy Park, with an £861,000 European Regional Development grant already secured for its creation.
Councillor David Alexander said the land had been designated for employment use, and this need was greater than what the application was proposing.
His belief was backed up by Cllr Alistair Hunter, who said: “I don’t see anything in the application that convinces me that a change of use best serves the people in that area.”
All councillors, with the exception of Cllr Andrew Rodger, recommended the application for refusal.
However, a spokesperson for the landowner told the Mail she felt the report given to councillors was inaccurate, with details on discussions between them and housing providers and also contamination issues on the site being clarified by the council at the meeting.
The spokesperson said: “We’re disappointed with how it went.
“Andrew Rodger spoke very strongly in favour of it but the rest were just so negative.
“When we saw the report that was being given to the councillors it came across like we were misleading the public in terms of the contamination issue – but there’s not even a requirement for any further monitoring on that.
“We’re not getting a fair crack of the whip; I hope they’re all going in with an open mind.
“We know that the Strategic Land Allocation and the Energy Park are important, but this is something that’s on the table right now and we could be started on it within three months.”
Should the application ultimately be given the green light, then all of the site’s 64 homes would be affordable and built to Fife Council housing standards.
Cllr Alexander said: “The only possibility we have is to refuse the application.”