Still not right site for mosque

KIRKCALDY;'Local residents at the site of proposed Islamic Centre in the green land off Cumbrae Terrace.'photo; WALTER NEILSON

KIRKCALDY;'Local residents at the site of proposed Islamic Centre in the green land off Cumbrae Terrace.'photo; WALTER NEILSON

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A CLOSE-KNIT Kirkcaldy community is fighting its third campaign against plans for a purpose-built mosque on its doorstep.

Residents in Cumbrae Terrace have collected more than 240 signatures on a petition and written to the police and councillors voicing their fears that the latest plans – moving the Islamic centre further west on a piece of open land and including more car parking – will cause dangerous traffic congestion in nearby streets.

A previous application was refused by councillors, but overturned on appeal to the Scottish Government, with a Reporter dismissing objections from local residents that traffic coming from the site would create traffic congestion on nearby Hendry Road.

A new application lodged with Fife Council shows plans for the Islamic Centre, which features a large domed roof with four corner minarets and parking, on a site further to the west.

Stuart Wilson, a planner with Fife Council, explained that the latest plan had come about because road re-alignment to accommodate the extended Victoria Hospital would encroach on the site.

Same plan

“It is basically the same plan as before just moved further west to accommodate the new road layout,” he explained.

“It will have to be treated as any other new plan, but councillors will have to bear in mind the findings of the Reporter from before. There have been over 20 objections lodged so far so it will have to come before a planning committee again.”

Ian Watson (77) a resident of Cumbrae Terrace for over 50 years, said: “They keep coming back with different plans, but our fears about the traffic remain, especially as every time they include more car parking.

“About 20 years ago a fish merchant applied to build on the land and it was turned down on police concerns about traffic, and there is a lot more traffic on the roads now than then and will be even more when the new hospital opens.

“At peak times there are queues of traffic on Hendry Road, something the Reporter didn’t see when she spent half an hour on the site at 2 o’clock, so anyone waiting to turn into that from the one and only entrance will simply turn the other way and come through the narrow maze of streets where there are cars parked and buses passing.

“It will be a nightmare with dozens of cars coming out of the mosque after services.”