Kirkcaldy housing plans for Hayfield site thrown out

The site at Hendry Road in Kirkcaldy has lain vacant for over a decade.
The site at Hendry Road in Kirkcaldy has lain vacant for over a decade.

Plans to build up to 74 new homes on land lain empty for more than a decade in Kirkcaldy have been unanimously rejected by councillors.

The planning appplication by JPR Services Ltd to redevelop 1.55 hectares of land on the corner of Hayfield Industrial Estate, off Hendry Road, by building a mix of 48 flats and 26 townhouses, had been recommended for rejection by Fife Council’s planning officers before it came before the central area planning committee on Monday.

The site is one of only two in Kirkcaldy currently earmaked as employment land.

The site is one of only two in Kirkcaldy currently earmaked as employment land.

Despite a number of previous planning applications dating back as far as 2005, the brownfield plot has continued to be fenced off and undeveloped for the past 10 years.

The site is also just one of two within the Kirkcaldy area deemed suitable as employment potential.

A shortfall in the quantity of employment land across Kirkcaldy, earmaked for commercial redevelopment as part of the local authority’s Development Plan, was the main reason given by officers for the refusal.

However, case officer Derek Simpson told the committee the application failed on a number of key issues, notably concerns over possible noise from a garage and odours from a fish processing plant that were situated adjacent to the potential housing development.

He added: “In order to change the land from employment land to residential the applicant must demonstrate that land is unmarketable for employment purposes.

“We have received a letter that says the land is unmarketable as employment land and has been for the past decade, but nothing more.”

The application was also recommended for refusal because of concerns over possible site contamination, failure in the principle design to allow for enough car parking spaces and that the design was inward facing, residential amenity, the loss of employment land potential and land sustainablity.

The assessment also finds the proposed development fails to meet many of the key policy requirements,” added Mr Wilson.

Commenting on the application prior to its refusal, cllr John Beare said: “We are being asked to consider an application that doesn’t seem to have any redeeming features.”