Dunfermline super campus: £180m Fife College and council project could see 1,500 extra trees cut down

Work on a £180 million super campus could see over 1,500 more trees removed than first thought, it has emerged.

By Craig Smith, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 20th January 2022, 11:36 am
Updated Friday, 21st January 2022, 9:38 am

Fife Council is taking forward its ambitious plans for the former Hyundai/Freescale site off Dunlin Drive in Dunfermline with a new Fife College campus and replacements for both St Columba’s RC and Woodmill High Schools also due to be created on the land.

However, detailed site surveys have now revealed that almost 5,200 trees will need to be felled in order to accommodate the development as planned – an increase of 1,555 from what has previously been approved.

Councillors on Fife’s central and west planning committee therefore agreed to the additional tree removal which would allow the Dunfermline Learning Campus to come forward on schedule when they met on Wednesday.

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The new campus will see more trees felled.

The problem first emerged in relation to the proposed spine road which will serve the school and college site, with experts suggesting the grading of the road embankment to the immediate east of the road required extra tree clearance in order to provide an “appropriate and safely graded engineering solution”.

No tree removal is proposed for Calais Muir Wood to the south of the site, while councillors heard that 5,085 new trees are to be planted as part of the Dunfermline Learning Campus development along with the creation of extensive hedgerow planting, rain gardens, bulb planting and meadows.

Case officer Bryan Reid told councillors that discussions with the site manager had suggested the number of trees to come down may eventually be lower, but recommended that the additional tree clearance as stated be approved.

Councillors unanimously agreed the plan, although SNP councillor Derek Glen commented: “If we can keep that to the bare minimum then I think that would be advantageous for everybody.”

Seven letters of objections were received in response to the application, some of which raised concerns about whether or not more trees would need to be removed without justification in future.

Despite that though, council planners said they were satisfied that the scope of the work was only required following more accurate survey work done on site.