Planners blasted over Fife town expansion proposal

Ceri Williams beside one of the fields off Balgarvie Road, earmarked for some of the Cupar North housing (Pic: Dave Scott).
Ceri Williams beside one of the fields off Balgarvie Road, earmarked for some of the Cupar North housing (Pic: Dave Scott).

Fife planners are laying themselves open to a charge of ‘corporate manslaughter’ if Cupar North goes ahead, a campaigner has warned.

Ceri Williams wrote to the Fife Herald following our story last week about a warning from education bosses that Cupar schools would not be able to cope with the demand created by an extra 1400 houses.

He said that other aspects of the town’s infrastructure had not been properly assessed and that the whole of the town centre would have to be dug up to accommodate the necessary drainage facilities.

And he said that the roads network serving Cupar was also inadequate.

“Anyone who has driven from Cupar to Rathillet can tell that this road will not take any increase in traffic, far less the major increase proposed by Cupar North,” he said.

“Given that the planners now have a report pointing out that their proposed increase would result in injuries and possibly deaths, there is a probability that they are laying themselves open to a charge of corporate manslaughter if Cupar North goes ahead.

“The community has been asking planners to properly assess the infrastructure needed for Cupar North since 2006. With breathtaking arrogance, these officials have point-blank refused, stating that they have no legal obligation to do so, even though common sense would dictate that anyone would assess whether a planned development could be supported.

“However, the Minister for Planning has stepped in and stated that there must be a comprehensive agreement for the provision of infrastructure amongst all providers and stakeholders before development begins.”

Bill Lindsay, the local authority’s development plan service manager, said: “It is accepted that the new development would lead to the need for new infrastructure. Impact is assessed as part of the planning application and, if granted, it would be conditional on these impacts being managed and mitigated. The length of the proposed project means that there would likely be a phased approach to these measures.

“Scottish Ministers did direct the council to make changes to the FIFEplan Local Development Plan. Fife Council agreed to this as the modifications were consistent with the council’s current position and proposed actions.

“The Scottish Government has confirmed that the Council can now proceed to adopt FIFEplan. We have continuously encouraged the developers to maintain dialogue with the community.”