Opposition to Pitteuchar housing plans

Fife Council's Bankhead House office facility
Fife Council's Bankhead House office facility
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Members of a Glenrothes community council have claimed thy have been “left in the dark” over plans for social housing in the area.

A petition containing around 200 signatures from residents in Pitteuchar opposing the plans for ten new homes on the site of the Bankhead House in Tantallon Avenue was presented to members of the Pitteuchar, Stenton and Finglassie Community Council (PSFCC) when it met this week.

A former children’s care home, Bankhead House is currently used by Fife Council as an office facility but the proposal would see the building be demolished to make way for a mix of two storey homes and cottage flats.

Peter Scobie, PSFCC chairman, told the Gazette: “Yet again we have not been informed about a proposed development in our ward, the first we knew about it was when a resident handed a petition to us, which has caused both embarrassment and confusion.

“This issue of us not being made a party to receipt of details of any planning application has been going on for some time and I, as chairman, have made numerous requests that the PSFCC be added to distribution lists of planning at all levels.”

Fife Council held a public information event outlining housing proposals for the site last month but Mr Scobie claims the community group were not informed about it.

A spokesman for the residents who collected the petition said that proposals were seen as “over ambitious”.

He added: “There seems to to be too many properties planned for what is a small site, plus additional parking demands don’t seem to have been taken into account.

“There are also issues about the proposal taking up some of the spare land currently used by children as a play area.”

Mr Scobie has now written to Fife Council leader David Ross and Councillor Peter Grant, insisting that the PSFCCare informed of all future planning proposals within the area.

“It is our duty to be aware of all planning aspects so that we can assist the community if they object to any planning matters taking place,” said Mr Scobie.

Community group meets with Council

Planning officers conducted a public drop in session in August to gauge public opinion and make public plans for the site.

David Robertson, investment and development team leader with Fife Council’s Housing and Neighbourhood Service, said: “We have not yet submitted a planning application for housing at Tantallon Avenue.

“We were running a pre-application consultation session through a public ‘drop in’ event to gather feedback before we submit a full planning application.

“As this is a pre-application consultation, there was no statutory requirement to involve specific consultees, however I do think it would have been courteous to inform the local Community Council of our intentions.

“We have since met with the Community Council to apologise for the oversight and provide details regarding the proposed development.”