Furious residents of Falkland have launched a campaign against plans for new housing in the village amid claims that a drop-in event was a ‘sham’.
Fife Council is preparing to submit an application to build 32 affordable homes on a greenfield site between Back Dykes Terrace and the wooded area of East Lomond, known locally as ‘the horse field’.
The owner of the horses has to find temporary accommodation for her animals next week as the local authority moves in to carry out tests.
But the plans have outraged villagers in the historic burgh and last week more than 80 turned up to a meeting of the local community council to express their feelings. Two petitions have attracted more than 400 signatures and a campaign group has been formed to lobby local councillors.
At the heart of the row is the fact that the site lies directly next to a brownfield site that has been earmarked for some 90 houses in the local plan. However the site, formerly occupied by Smith Anderson, hasn’t been sold yet and critics have accused the local authority of expediency.
“Fife Council have a target of building 2700 affordable homes in Fife,” said Callum Anderson, one of the campaign organisers.
“We believe they’re trying to rush this through before the brownfield site is sold. They held what they called a consultation but quite honestly they were just going through the motions.
“If this application is approved and the houses on the brownfield site go ahead the population of the village will increase by about 40 per cent. We have concerns that the local school doesn’t have the capacity and that the character of Falkland will be totally ruined. There are worries about increased traffic and the fact that there’s already a sewage problem in Back Dykes that will be made worse.”
Around 100 people attended the drop-in event on May 14, and David Robertson, investment and development team leader, said: “We were able to get a good feel for what the local community’s views were on the development proposal. At this stage we are just gathering views about the suggested development.
“These will be considered together with planning advice before we decide whether to submit an application.”