Association has plans for affordable housing in Cupar

Tarvit Home Farm, the site of the proposed affordable housing.
Tarvit Home Farm, the site of the proposed affordable housing.
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Cupar could be in line for 49 new and much-needed affordable houses on the edge of the town if a proposed planning application is approved.

Kingdom Housing Association business development manager Alan Henderson told members of Cupar Community Council on Tuesday night that they had earmarked a field near Tarvit Farm, on the Pitscottie road.

The association, he said, would be seeking planning approval in principle for up to 49 houses on a greenfield site.

Mr Henderson explained that the association had been in talks for some time with the Vivarium Trust, whose aim is to develop co-housing for the over 50s.

Proposals for such a project at Cupar Muir, said Mr Henderson, had fallen through at the last moment when the landlord decided not to sell the site.

The current proposal for social rented housing also involved co-housing with Vivarium, with building scheduled to start in 2016 and completion the following year, subject to planning approval.

Mr Henderson envisaged that a public consultation event would be held in the town in the next two to three weeks.

The co-housing could involve between 20 and 30 of the total of 49 houses.

Community councillors heard that there was huge demand for affordable housing in Cupar, with 1550 applications on a Fife housing register.

Asked about the possibility of utilising brownfield sites within the town, Mr Henderson said it was difficult to make them viable. He added that brownfield sites were not suitable for desperately needed three and four-bedroom family houses with gardens.

“We see this (Tarvit Farm) site as a great opportunity to provide affordable family housing.”

Vivarium Trust director Hugh Hoffman, giving an outline of the charity, said co-housing was a lifestyle choice, offering independent living within a community, with a mix of individual homes, with shared common facilities. “This would be an opportunity for us to do something in Fife.”

Fife councillor Bryan Poole said prices for brownfield sites were “completely unrealistic,” which prevented organsiations like Kingdom developing them.

The council will submit comments following the public consultation event.