Plan forecasts good things for Kirkcaldy

ALMOST 3000 new houses are to be built across Kirkcaldy over the next 20 years as Fife Council attempts to turn the Lang Toun into the capital of Mid-Fife.

And locals are being urged to play their part in deciding where the new developments will be placed.

The proposals are part of an ambitious Structure Plan which will be put out for public consultation in February next year.

Head of development services, Keith Winter, told The Press: "We are talking about growing Kirkcaldy and, in particular, the potential of its town centre, improving the environment, the whole shopping and leisure experience Kirkcaldy offers.

"There will be new housing and business developments to the east and west funded through private investment.

"Developers though will have to pay for the infrastructure and some community gain. This will include road improvements and, where necessary, school provision."

Land to the south-west of the Lang Toun will be developed from 2011 to accommodate 1200 new houses with the potential for more building after 2026.

And in the east it is proposed that there will be 1700 new houses over the next 20 years.

Although no specific sites have been identified at the moment, Mr Winter stressed that the consultation period will let members of the public influence where the new houses could be built.

He said: "I believe it's vitally important that people get involved at this stage. It is now that questions have to be asked and we will be providing as much assistance as we can.

"This is the very start of the process and what will happen here will help to shape the local plan and, ultimately, where any new developments will go."

In the draft structure plan, which was presented to councillors at a meeting of the full council yesterday (Thursday), there are also plans to regenerate the coastal area from Rosyth to Levenmouth and promote the A92 from Kirkcaldy to Glenrothes as an area of business growth as well as making provision for the ambitious cross Forth ferry link.

Although the formal consultation period does not begin until February next year, anyone wishing to see the draft structure plan can log onto the Fife Council web site or contact Anne Macnamara on (01592) 416151.