Councillor hopeful that Leslie House can still be saved

A Glenrothes councillor has expressed disappointment over an appeal ruling which throws into doubt the future of one of Fife's most historic buildings.

Wednesday, 8th June 2016, 1:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 9th June 2016, 12:04 pm
Cllr Morrison is disappointed by the Scottish Government reporter's ruling
Cllr Morrison is disappointed by the Scottish Government reporter's ruling

Cllr Kay Morrison told the Gazette she was most disappointed that the Scottish Government appointed reporter - who last week upheld an appeal by developer Muir Homes to build houses on the former grounds of grade-A listed Leslie House, decision to allow the construction of 28 new homes on the site.

The planning application was unanimously rejected by Fife Council’s central area planning committee - of which Cllr Morrison is a member - in August 2015.

“Most disappointing is that the increase in the number of houses (from 12 to 28) is not regarded as significant. To me, that’s quite a difference,” she said.

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She also said that the replanting of around 80 new trees to replace those cut down as part of t he site clearance , was “crucial”, though expressed concern over road access.

“I’m not a transportation expert but I’m not alone in my concern about the effect of increased vehicular use, especially given the available entry and exit opportunities.”

She added however that the condition that the remaining five completed homes were not to be sold until the restoration of the former stately home was completed, did offer a glimmer of hope.

“I’m absolutely delighted by the reporter’s insistence upon a condition ensuring Leslie House be converted and restored,” she said.

“One of our objections to the application was the absence of an enabling clause; the reporter’s recommendation seems to agree.

“The most important thing is that Leslie House now has a chance of restoration.”