Farmers have a beef about plans for Fife wedding venue

The plans have sparked fury among some villagers, although they have some supporters too.
The plans have sparked fury among some villagers, although they have some supporters too.

Furious residents of Luthrie are waging a campaign against ‘outrageous’ plans to build a wedding venue on the edge of the rural village.

The owner of historic Carphin House, Tom Macallan, has applied for planning permission to create a wedding and conference centre in the grounds of the mansion, which he says will create jobs and generate millions for the Fife economy.

He has told Fife Council that the venue would be of ‘exceptional quality’ and could cater for up to 200 people, providing a much-needed facility in the Kingdom.

However, more than 50 people had lodged objections before the closing date on Wednesday.

Among them was a lengthy document from Laura Arbuckle, Ian Arbuckle and Grace Arbuckle, partners in AA and JI Arbuckle, a 107-year-old family business specialising in beef cattle at Lower Luthrie Farm.

The Arbuckles own the road providing the only access for Carphin House and say that the increase in traffic would have a devastating effect on their livelihood.

They say that about 10 weddings were held at Carphin House between 2011 and 2014, when the then owner rented it to an Edinburgh-based events company – and the narrow road became a scene of ‘chaos and mayhem.’

The family also say that on one occasion fireworks were let off, resulting in a stampede of terrified cattle which smashed their way out of their field and ran two miles in the dark, perilously close to the busy A92.

And they estimate that the number of vehicles using the road would increase from around 10 a day to hundreds or even thousands.

Dating back to 1792, Carphin House – which was once owned by the Carnegie family – sits in 850 acres of land.

It was bought by Mr Macallan in 2016 from Toby Wemyss, who had inherited it from his uncle some 14 years earlier and carried out its first refurbishment since World War Two.

The plans for the wedding venue have attracted some supporters, none of whom live in Luthrie.

Proponents say that the proposed structure is tasteful and in keeping with its surroundings and that it will provide a facility that would enhance Fife’s appeal as a tourist destination.