Falkland wall row firm has plans rejected

Falkland Palace, Falkland, Fife. for special reports. Alba
Falkland Palace, Falkland, Fife. for special reports. Alba

THE developer at the centre of a row over an historic wall in Falkland has been refused permission to build a two-storey house on the same site.

The Lomond Group came under fire when it demolished a 300-year-old section of wall in The Pleasance in 2010.

Following intervention by the Scottish Government, the firm was ordered to re-build the 20-metre stretch of wall and was given until December 9 last year to do so.

But councillors at north east Fife area committee who were being asked to approve the application for the house were told that the work still had not been carried out.

They were, however, told by officials that they should not let this influence their decision.

An outraged Councillor David MacDiarmid moved refusal of the application on the grounds that the proposed house was too high and would be out of character with the surrounding area.

He said he found it ‘incredible’ that planning officials had recommended conditional approval of the application when there wasn’t another building in the vicinity of this size apart from Falkland Palace itself.

He was also concerned about what would happen to the outbuildings on the site, which is within a conservation area.

The Lomond Group had been given planning permission to build a one-and-a-half-storey house on the site back in 2009, but had applied to amend it to two storeys, sparking objections from the local community council, the Historic Falkland Action Group - set up in the wake of the demolition of the wall - and a number of individuals.

The Lomond Group had argued that it had demolished the wall in the interests of public safety and lodged an appeal with the Scottish Government after Fife Council served an enforcement notice to try to make them rebuild it.

There was jubilation among protesters when the Reporter threw out the appeal last September, but that has turned to dismay as the wall has still not been re-built.

Planning official Jim Birrell told the area commmittee that work was due to start shortly and further action would be taken if it was not carried out.