Developer plans for Cupar North expected by year end

A bypass or relief road would run through countryside north of the town.
A bypass or relief road would run through countryside north of the town.

A controversial planning application that would see a massive expansion of Cupar is expected to be lodged by the end of this year.

A consortium of developers has resurrected the Cupar North blueprint - shelved eight years ago because of the recession - and now hopes to build some 1400 homes, a by-pass, primary school and business and retail parks to the north of the town.

Fife Council’s senior planner Jim Birrell told north east Fife area committee that the developers had given a ‘clear commitment’ to the project and that there had been ‘huge progress’.

And he gave an assurance that the process would be transparent and that the developers would prepare a masterplan in consultation with the local community.

However Cupar councillor Bryan Poole said he remained to be convinced by the plans and was concerned about where the £20 million needed to build the by-pass would come from.

“If you start building houses and there is no road it is important for us to see how that stacks up,” he said.

“There needs to be more openness about this.”

In response, Mr Birrell told him: “We are aware of the sums of money involved and if it is not available it won’t happen.

“The project won’t happen without a relief road.”

Members of Cupar Community Council also discussed the matter at their meeting on Tuesday night, following a presentation by Fife Council planner, Andrew Sim.

A sub-group of the community council has been examining the proposals in detail in recent weeks, with their conclusions forming an official, initial response.

Development at several other sites dotted around the town has been ruled out, with community councillor David Kirk claiming that they would “just be a series of bolt-on estates”.

Council secretary Douglas Provan said: “I have never been a supporter of Cupar North, but I’m a realist and know it will happen.”

Among their recommendations, the community council wants Cupar North residents to be able to walk into the town, along traffic-free routes, with Jenny Hughes saying “not enough thought” was given to pedestrians. There was concern developers’ lorries could cause congestion in town, if the by-pass road was not built first.