By-pass decision will save Cupar from ‘a living nightmare’

Councillor Poole
Councillor Poole

The consortium behind plans for a massive development to the north of Cupar have been told to ‘put up or move on’ after councillors put a deadline on the building of a by-pass.

At Fife Council’s executive committee yesterday, it was unanimously agreed to amend the local development plan so that the consortium - comprising Headon Developments, Persimmon Homes, and Vico Properties - would be required to build the controversial relief road within five years of the first house being built.

And Cupar’s independent councillor Bryan Poole said that the decision had been ‘absolutely crucial’ to avoid the town ‘becoming a building site for the next 20 years.’

“This will require the consortium to put up and move on”, said Councillor Poole.

“When this development was first proposed it was ‘sold’ to Fife councillors and to the Cupar community with the inclusion of a relief road funded by the consortium to be delivered within five years of the first completed house.

“Ever since, there has been a rolling back from that commitment with suggestions that Fife Council should pick up the cost - no chance - and more recently that the road should be built in a ‘phased manner’ meaning that the relief road would be some 20 years away at best, with construction lorries and the new residents from 1400 houses having no option but to be trundling through Cupar Town Centre - a living nightmare for local residents.

“This decision creates a clear deadline and focus for the consortium. Fife Council planners have advised that if no discernible progress is made with Cupar North within the lifetime of the proposed local plan - five years -it will be necessary to re-open and re-examine how the housing needs ofthe Cupar area will be met.

“Given that the consortium now have to build in the cost of completing the relief road within five years of the first completed house, the clock is ticking for them with regard to ‘discernible progress’”.

Councillor Poole added that Cupar would now not be in a position of having 1400 houses ‘thrust’ upon the town without any relief road.

He commented: “Without the change agreed there was a very real danger of Cupar North becoming a building site for the next 20 years, the town centre clogged up with construction traffic and at the end ofthe 20 years no relief road.

“Now Cupar North will only go ahead if the relief road is delivered inthe first five years.”