Is this the right site for a kids’ home?

KIRKCALDY;'DYSART;'Howard Place, which is the proposed site for a new childrens home which has caused controversy among local residents.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
KIRKCALDY;'DYSART;'Howard Place, which is the proposed site for a new childrens home which has caused controversy among local residents.'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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PLANS to build a children’s home in Dysart have come up against fierce opposition from locals, after the £1.2 million proposals were revealed at a public meeting this week.

Residents say they are furious after being told of the plan for the two-storey building on land at Howard Place which will house up to five young people aged between 10 and 18.

They say they were told the land, which is owned by Fife Council, was going to be used for regeneration purposes by building new homes, but that has been scrapped and site now earmarked for the children’s home.

A spokesman from the Dysart Community Regeration Forum told the Press there was no positive feedback from anybody at the public meeting held on Monday.

They said: “People have no objection to the style of the building but they feel it’s not going to do anything to help regeneration. It’s not bringing in families, and people don’t feel that there’s anything here for these children.

Let down

“It has come at a bad time for people here - money for the harbour pier that we were promised would be fixed has been withdrawn, so there’s a lot of ill feeling when the Council can find £1.2 million to build this.

‘‘They feel they have been let down.”

Monday’s meeting was just the start of the process to get public opinion on the idea, before proposals are put forward for planning permission.

They form part of a wider programme which involves upgrading the few children’s homes Fife Council has in order to improve support and facilities for young people whose life circumstances mean they need to be cared for away from their own homes.

David Wright, service manager for children and families, said: “The drop-in session was the first in a series of planned discussions with the Dysart community about proposals for a small, new build house for children.

Early stages

‘‘The proposals are at a very early stage and the community will be given every opportunity to discuss the plans and inform the design work prior to a planning application being submitted.”

Fife Council currently has around 20 children in its care.

This week residents are preparing a petition to hand over to the Council in objection to the proposals.