FIFE Council has moved to reassure residents in Dysart that plans for a new children’s home will not stop regeneration in the area.
The plans sparked controversy last week as locals found out an area previously earmarked for housing would be partly used for the Council-run home.
The £1.2m house, planned for the area near Howard Place, will home five children who are in Fife Council’s care.
But despite its large size will only take up a third of the Council-owned site available for regeneration.
Residents turned out in their droves to protest against the proposals last week, and now plans are set for a petition objecting to the use of the ground for the home.
However, Councilllor Tim Brett, chairman of the social work committee, hit out this week saying the issues of the home and regeneration are “two completely separate matters”.
He told the Press: “Frankly I am astonished anyone would question the need for us to help Fife’s children at a time of need and the value of building a home for those at risk of harm.
Part of community
“This is not about a children’s home versus regeneration of Dysart.
‘‘The decision to build a children’s home is based on need – the need of children to be safe, become part of a community and live as normal a life as possible.
‘‘I would urge people not to be caught up in the debate about a children’s home versus regeneration or other council projects but to reflect on the fact that the council, on behalf of society, is investing in safeguarding children now and in the future.”
David Wright, service manager for children and families, added that the Council hoped to work closely with residents to address their concerns over the proposals, giving reassurances that building the home will not halt regeneration.
He said: “The decision to build a children’s home is based on need and is independent from any other decision about regeneration for the area.”
Mr Wright added the rest of the site will be open to investment opportunities, and pressed that plans are still in very early stages.
l A meeting is due to take place on Wednesday, September 14 between 5.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. at Dysart Regeneration Offices for discussions to take place. All are invited to attend.