Do it again & properly!

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A BOTCHED consultation means plans to demolish Forth Park Hospital to make way for housing have not yet passed planning permission.

An application to build 69 new homes, which will include at least 10 affordable houses, was delayed by Kirkcaldy councillors after they said the consultation process was not carried out properly.

General plans see the main hospital razed, while the mansion house and stables - both B listed buildings - will be changed internally.

However there has been confusion over detailed plans for the site: while indicative plans have been put forward by consultants Drivers Jonas Deloitte, these would have to be changed before a second stage of planning permission is sought.

Despite this, these are the drawings which have been shown to local residents, who say a meeting arranged by the consultants at Forth Park was amateurish and inadequate.

One resident said: “The consultative process appears to have been critically flawed.

‘‘ Not even the staff at Forth Park knew it was happening.

‘‘Local councillors had not been notified. The event in the foyer of Forth Park designed to familiarise the local community with proceedings could scarcely be described as adequate or appropriate.”

Several others complained about the lack of information and formality of the consultation - a sentiment echoed by councillors at the area committee on Wednesday.

Councillor Alice Soper said: “The plan which has been submitted is not an acceptable design solution, and that’s the important thing residents need to know.

‘‘While no-one is upset about the development in principle, this design is not what’s going to be there.

‘‘However, despite being told I was consulted, I was not invited and neither were the three local councillors.

‘‘We must express our disappointment in this, and that residents didn’t have ample opportunity to find out what was actually being proposed.”

The transfer of services from Forth Park to Victoria Hospital is expected to take place in January next year.

Drivers Jonas Deloitte were unable to comment before the Press went to print. NHS Fife declined to comment.