Concerns over Westfield plans

The development could create up to 2500 jobs.
The development could create up to 2500 jobs.
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Concerns have been expressed that the masterplan for the regeneration of the Westfield site have been “compromised”.

A plan to transform the former open-cast site, which could create up to 2500 jobs, was approved in October.

However, just days after the plan was approved, a separate application for ten gas engines, not included in the masterplan, was submitted for the site.

David Taylor, secretary of Cardenden Community Council, said the masterplan had been “compromised”, adding: “This makes a complete mockery of the master plan and posses another question – does anyone really know what’s going on?

“Meantime, Fife Council’s planning committee needs to withhold planning permission for these applications, until a full understanding of the situation is established.”

Hargreaves Services Ltd., which submitted the proposals, says the ten gas engines are needed to bring utilities to the site.

Iain Cockburn, from Hargreaves, said: “We will be delaying the gas engine project and engaging in further community consultation in the New Year.

“If the engine application does not progress after further consultation and consideration, the overall master plan will still be valid and we will continue to work to deliver that re-development

“We strongly refute that we have acted cynically or that the proposed engines are inconsistent with the renewable energy theme – we have been open with the Council and are not deviating from the overall masterplan objectives.”

Iain also said that Hargreaves had no plans to make an application for a biomass facility on site.

Chris Smith, lead officer for major business and customer service at Fife Council, said: “Fife Council considers that the planning application for the installation of up to 10 small gas turbines housed within standard shipping container units would not significantly compromise the wider masterplan agreed by the planning committee.”