Cupar community council backs Kingdom plans

The proposed site of Kingdom's affordable housing development, off Pitscottie road, Cupar.
The proposed site of Kingdom's affordable housing development, off Pitscottie road, Cupar.

Kingdom Housing Association’s proposals to build 49 affordable houses on the eastern edge of Cupar, off Pitscottie road, have received the backing of the town’s community council.

The decision – by eight votes to three – was reached at Tuesday night’s meeting, attended by around 120 locals and a few Kingdom representatives.

It was standing room only for many in the County Hall, which also saw everyone evacuated for a short time after a fire alarm sounded.

Householders around Tarvit are particularly concerned about Fife Council’s plans to build a similar number of affordable houses in a field which backs on to the Tarvit Ponds area.

Community council chairman Canon Pat McInally pointed out at the outset that Fife Council had not submitted a planning application.

Fife councillor Bryan Poole said if the community council was to take a decision on the field near Tarvit Ponds, it would carry little weight in the absence of a planning application and would be “premature and ill-advised.”

Members of the public were given a 25-minute slot to air their views, with many locals expressing serious concerns about the threat to the ponds and its wildlife.

There was also a general feeling that Fife Council’s housing and planning departments were pulling in different directions.

Tarvit Gardens resident Pia Walker was concerned about both “hare-brained” schemes and was practically worried about the increase in traffic and road safety. She wondered if schools would be able to cope with the potential of an additional 200 children.

Wendy Sharp, who is disabled, pointed out the ponds were “totally accessible” to her, while another resident, Grant Munro, said the ponds were visited by local school children and many people from outwith the area.

Council secretary, Douglas Provan, said Fife Council had spent thousands of pounds on its development plan for Cupar, and if was to build houses at Tavit, it would be “ripping up” its own document.

Community council planning spokesman David Kirk thought a site for affordable housing should be identified at the proposed Cupar North development as an urgent priority.

Charlie Milne, Kingdom chairman, who spoke at the meeting, said afterwards: “I am delighted and grateful for the support of the Community Council. We had a fair hearing and were able to explain why there is a great need for more affordable housing in the town, and why the site at Pitscottie Road fits the bill.”

Alan Henderson, Kingdom land and planning manager added: “We now hope Fife Council will also support the proposal and grant us planning consent.”

If consent is granted, Kingdom plans to consult further and start work next year.’’