Public invited to Cupar community council meetings after ‘dinosaur’ jibe over Tesco site

A retail park has been proposed for the site, but some groups have objected to the plans
A retail park has been proposed for the site, but some groups have objected to the plans

People in Cupar are being urged to go along to the town’s monthly community council meetings amid claims that its members are ‘dinosaurs’.

A Facebook row erupted after the Fife Herald reported that both the community council and the environmental group Sustainable Cupar had objected to plans to build a retail park on a derelict site next to Tesco in South Road.

More than 20 people posted angry comments, saying the town was crying out for more shops.

And members of both organisations were told to ‘move with the times’ and accused of being ‘narrow-minded’ and ‘way out of touch’ with the rest of the community.

However at this week’s meeting of the community council, chairman Gina Logan refused to rise to the bait.

“I saw the comments but didn’t think it was appropriate to respond online,” she said.

“Community council minutes are available to the public and they can come along to our meetings and speak to us directly.”

The contentious application has been lodged by London & Scottish Investments, which bought the site from Tesco after the struggling retail giant abandoned plans to build a new superstore.

The application is due to be considered shortly by north east Fife planning committee.

It promises to deliver up to seven retail units, which could be open in time for Christmas next year.

The three elected members representing Cupar, Councillors Margaret Kennedy, Karen Marjoram and Bryan Poole, are not permitted to comment prior to the meeting.

The community council wants to see the site re-designated for housing, citing concerns about the impact on existing town centre shops and pedestrian safety.

At Tuesday’s meeting members reinforced their views, with Community Councillor Gordon Pay insisting that the proposed access design was ‘unsafe’ – especially for children.

The community council also says that there’s no evidence to suggest that such a retail development is needed in Cupar.

Cupar Development Trust, which wants to promote Cupar as a market town, has also lodged an objection on the grounds of the possible impact on town centre retailers, while Sustainable Cupar says that large-scale retail is not suitable for the site and would compromise the safety of pedestrians and cyclists.

Cupar Community Council, which is made up of volunteers, is a statutory consultee on planning matters affecting the town.

It meets on the last Tuesday of every month at 7pm in the County Buildings, St Catherine Street, and members of the public can attend and ask questions.