Council homes plan jettisoned

Crtics thought the development would spoil the character of Falkland
Crtics thought the development would spoil the character of Falkland

Controversial plans to build 32 affordable houses on a greenfield site in the historic burgh of Falkland have been put on the back burner.

Fife Council announced in May that it was to submit a planning application to build the development on a site it owns between Back Dykes Terrace and the wooded area of East Lomond, sometimes known as the ‘top park’ and known locally as ‘the horse field’.

But the proposals sparked dismay among residents and at Tuesday’s meeting of Fife Council’s executive committee they were dropped from the Fife Plan, a blueprint for the future of the Kingdom.

However it may not be the end of the story.

The Fife Plan will ultimately be decided by a Scottish Government Reporter, who could re-instate the proposal, and Fife Council could still submit an application.

The news received a cautious welcome from Falkland Community Council, whose chairman, Anthony Garrett, said: “This is much to be welcomed but we must remain on our guard as the planning process is very complicated.

“When the proposal came to light in May, the community council co-ordinated opposition and made strong representations against it.”

But Mr Garrett emphasiised that the community council still supported plans for some 100 houses on the site of the former St John’s Works, a brownfield site vacated by Smith Anderson last summer. They also hoped that the development would include affordable homes.

Among the concerns expressed by residents about the ‘horse field’ plans were that the development would affect the ‘beauty and uniqueness’ of the village; cause traffic congestion through Falkland’s narrow streets; over-stretch the local school and exacerbate existing sewage problems in Back Dykes.