Unpopular Kinghorn development axed to the delight of campaigners

Fife councillor Susan Leslie and Karen Robb-Begg at the planned development site. Picture by FPA.
Fife councillor Susan Leslie and Karen Robb-Begg at the planned development site. Picture by FPA.
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Residents in Kinghorn have expressed their joy that plans to build an “overbearing” block of flats at the entrance to the village have been overturned.

At a meeting of the Fife Council Executive Committee on Tuesday, councillors agreed to enter into an agreement whereby the council exchanges ownership of the land, on which a delopment for 27 flats was to be built by Campion Homes, for a similar site in Dunfermline.

The deal means that the local authority will own the Bruce Street site and can go back to the drawing board to come up with new plans for it.

Campion’s plans for a modern style three-storey block of flats on the piece of land, which has lain derelict for years, caused a huge public outcry with Kinghorn Heritage Society, Fife Historic Buildings Trust and the Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council all protesting that it was “overbearing” “too dense” and “out of character with the surrounding buildings” which border a conservation area, including the historic Town Hall.

In the committee agenda, planners explained that: “the scheme design developed by Campion Homes for the Bruce Street Kinghorn site has not been sufficiently supported by stakeholders.”

It added that Kinghorn offered “very limited opportunities for affordable housing” and the site remained “important for affordable housing development, albeit to a different design than originally proposed.”

Councillor Susan Leslie, who has campaigned against the plans, said: “I spoke in favour of the exchange proposal and have also had agreement to my request that the Council enters into discussions with the local community at an early stage and also for a ‘lessons learned’ exercise to be done into the circumstances that led to the previous development failing to win the confidence of the community.

‘‘I know residents will agree that this is a very good outcome for Kinghorn.”

Karen Robb, owner of The Ship restaurant next to the site, said: “This is very positive news and hopefully the council will give more consideration to the feelings of the people living in the area, and be sympathetic to the surrounding environment.”

Ken Wallace, whose house overlooks the site, added: “We are all pleased that common sense has prevailed.

‘‘We are not against development of the site, all we are looking for is something a bit more in keeping with the environment and conservation area.”