Plans to build 300 homes in west Glenrothes have been emphatically rejected, to the delight of residents opposing the development.
Councillors threw out the plans, submitted by Hallam Land Management Plc, that would have sited the development on agricultural land at Milldeans Farm, adjacent to the Newcastle precinct in the west of the town.
In a report to the central area planning committee, planning officers had recommended rufusal which, along with 80 letters of objection, had raised campaigners’ anticipation that the decision would go their way.
The application, which had been submitted despite the town’s councillors twice ruling the land was unfit for housing and rejecting it from the Fife Council’s FifePlan – the authority’s obligation to the Scottish Government to build 17,000 new homes across the region in next decade – was unanimously rejected.
“We have a clear understanding of the site which has already been deemed unsuitable. I’m astonished that it has even come before us,” said councillor Kay Morrison.
“This is a huge development and there are huge access problems to and from it, it is effectively a cul-de-sac and emergency access is non- existent. The application is a non-starter.”
Fellow Glenrothes councillor Craig Walker echoed those sentiments, adding: “There are holes all over this application, and it should not be here.”
Cllr John Wincott added: “Officers have indicated the application does not comply with legislation and policy at almost every turn. If appealed, this report must surely be used as part of Fife Council’s defence.”
As the committee made its decision, there was clear relief and joy on the faces of Newcastle residents who had been following proceedings from the public gallery.
“It’s a major hurdle overcome. We are very happy indeed with the decision,” said Brian Sherrins, one of those who set up the Concerned Newcastle residents group (CNR) two years ago to fight the plans.
“The planning process is notoriously difficult for the public to influence once permission is made in principle, therefore we are relieved that we managed to make our concerns heard.
“Common sense has prevailed and the residents of Newcastle can breathe a sigh of relief,” he added.