Burntisland shops plan rejected over fear of impact on High Street

Burntisland High Street
Burntisland High Street

New retail units planned for Burntisland have been rejected by councillors amid fears they would damage the town’s High Street.

The plans which went before Fife Council’s central area planning committee last Wednesday were for five retail units to be built on land to the south of Aberdour Road at Geds Mill Close.

The site is the last part of the former Alcan aluminium works to be redeveloped.

The local authority’s planning officers recommended councillors refuse the plans on the basis of road safety and because it does not fit in with the Adopted Mid Fife Local Plan.

Over 50 objections had been received by the Council against the plans, as well as a petition which featured 738 signatures.

Among the reasons for objections were road safety issues, over provision of retail units and the adverse impact on the High Street; potential noise and anti-social behaviour issues and plans are contrary to the development plan.

Councillor George Kay, whose ward takes in Burntisland, said: “I have some grave reservations about this application and the main reservation is one that the people of Burntisland have got and that’s what impact is it going to have on the High Street?

“The High Street is somewhere that more than just trading goes on.

“It’s at the very heart of the community.

“We’re looking at something which could very much impact on that heart.

“It [Burntisland High Street] is on the cusp, it can go one way or t’other.

“If we’re going to approve this application it will tip it in the wrong direction and will start to see real problems there and I don’t want to see that happening.”

Kirkcaldy councillor, Neil Crooks, added: “The requirement for residential far out weighs the need for retail in Burntisland.

“For the future of Burntisland this is a critical issue.”

Councillors unanimously agreed to refuse the application on the recommendation received from planning officers.