THE Scottish Government has granted planning permission for a housing development in Kingsbarns - despite objections being lodged by local residents.
The developer behind the plans, the Cambo Estate, took the matter to the directorate for planning and environmental appeals at Holyrood on the grounds of ‘‘non-determination’’ - claiming Fife Council had failed to reach a decision on the planning application on time.
In March, Fife Council ruled that the application should be refused, but last week a reporter appointed by Scottish Ministers gave the project the green light.
Planning permission has now been granted for 40 houses and a village green to be built on the site.
Kingsbarns Community Council were opposed to the development as the decision to grant permission had been criticised by local councillor Mike Scott-Hayward, who claimed the views of the local community had been overridden by bureaucracy.
Kate Holy, a community councillor, told the Citizen that she also believed the views of the people who complained to Fife Council had been ignored.
She added: “The reporter made no mention of local opposition to the plan, despite the fact that a lot of people felt this development was not in the interests of the people who live in the village.
‘‘It’s not as if we are in an area with a lot job opportunities so the worry is they will become holiday homes.
‘‘We have nothing against them, but we would like to see people come here and live all year round and take an active part in the community.
“This particular development will be on a site opposite the old square and a lot of the village’s listed buildings.
‘‘The village has been growing organically over the years and we would have preferred it to continue that way.”
One of the determining factors given by the reporter for approving the application is the need for private and affordable housing in the local area.
Part of the development is being supported by a Scottish Government grant designed to produce homes in under pressure rural housing markets.
Twelve of the new houses at the site will be available to rent, with tenants taken from the council’s waiting list.
The Scottish Government report stated: “The site would present a logical opportunity for modest westwards expansion of the settlement without significant adverse visual impact on the landscape or on the setting of the village.”