Fury as Newburgh housing plans ‘ignore’ local opinion

5009h004 newburgh high street 'ad feature - Newburgh High Street, Newburgh. Fife Herald ad feat pic
5009h004 newburgh high street 'ad feature - Newburgh High Street, Newburgh. Fife Herald ad feat pic

Angry Newburgh residents are rallying against proposals for a massive new housing development amid claims that their views have been ignored.

Newburgh Sustainable Housing Campaign is urging people in the town to voice their opposition to the inclusion of 275 new homes in FifePlan, Fife Council’s latest blueprint for the future of the Kingdom.

The group says that the proposed development - which would be on Cupar Road, to the east of the town - is contrary to the wishes of the majority of local residents, who have already said they don’t want any more than 100 new houses built.

And critics claim that the developer, Perth-based A.J.Stephen, has failed to engage with the community about its plans.

Newburgh Sustainable Housing Campaign was formed in 2005 in response to what was then the Fife Structure Plan and has now been superseded by FifePlan.

The group carried out a survey in the community which showed that most people wanted to see a maximum of 100 houses built over a period of 10 years - a comment taken on board by Fife Council, which revised the Structure Plan in 2006 to include just 20 houses.

And, say campaigners, nothing has changed since then.

“Why is Fife Council proposing 275 new homes?” said David Mathieson of Newburgh Sustainable Housing Campaign.

“It knows from the last Plan that no more than 100 houses was wanted by our community.

“Lack of local publicity of this latest Plan means that once again NSHC has to do the work and inform local residents. If Stephen’s really wantedto work with the people of Newburgh it would get together with Fife Council and immediately make a drastic reduction in the numbers proposed.

“We want them to say that they respect the democratic decision of the local community and will abide by it.”

Mr Mathieson told the Fife Herald that campaigners had nothing against some new development in Newburgh and its adjoining hamlet of Burnside, but were concerned about the potential impact that 275 houses would have on the local school, medical centre and infrastructure of the high street as well as the town’s reed bed sewage plant, which has already reached its capacity.

Newburgh Sustainable Housing Campaign has submitted its response to FifePlanand is urging others to do so by the closing date, December 8.

“The people of Newburgh and Burnside know what is best for their community,” says the group.

“The number of new houses proposed in the latest development plan needs to be significantly reduced again.”

No-one at A.J.Stephen was available for comment.