Alburne Park ‘rat run’ will be intolerable

Alburne Park will become an intolerable 'rat run' says Cllr Vettraino.
Alburne Park will become an intolerable 'rat run' says Cllr Vettraino.

A major new housing development in Glenrothes, given the go ahead by planners, could further impact on a ‘rat run’ already used by motorist in Alburne Park.

That‘s the view of Councillor Ross Vetttraino follwing the decision by Fife Council’s central area planning committee this week to grant permission to build between 250-300 houses on the Sappi Road site.

Cllr Vettraino told planners that the effect on traffic, especially that already using Alburn Park as a rat run to beat peak time congestion, could become “intollerable” both for those living in the vicinity , and motorists using the area, if not addressed.

“I can not agree with the planners, when they say that there would be no appreciable difference in traffic movements through Alburne Park,” Cllr Vettraino told the Gazette.

“An additional 300 houses could mean anything up to an additional 600 vehicles.

“I cannot believe that there will not be a significant number of additional journeys through Alburne Park, which will only add to the current congestion.

“Like everywhere else, there are more and more cars parked on the side of the road because, when these roads were designed, nobody foresaw the explosion in ownership of the motor car.”

Mr Vettraino was one of a number who voiced concerns over the impact the application would have on the exisiting road infrastucture.

Cllr Bill Brown said:” While I welcome any chance we have to build new homes, a site of this size could generate considerable congestion on an already busy A92 and key juctions, and is something we will have to stay ahead of.”

Mr Vettraino added: “It’s a pity that so many people see Alburne Park as a shortcut between Markinch and Glenrothes instead of travelling via the Tullis Russell roundabout.

“Now that the application has been approved, I intend to keep a close eye on the developing situation.

“The good news is that the Glenrothes Area committee will be able to address the problem by way of Traffic Regulation Orders, if it is so minded.”

The planning application in principle, put forward by Miller King Ltd., takes in former industrial brown field and undeveloped agricultural land, and will include 10 per cent affordable housing.

It’s also set to bring Markinch closer to Glenrothes.

“I lost the argument over coalescence between Markinch and Glenrothes back in 2006 when the original 70 houses already built were approved so that argument is long gone,” said Cllr John Beare.

“95 per cent of the site already makes up part of the existing FIFEplan so what grounds we’d have to reject this application anyway is hard to say.”

The development is also set to have a long-term impact on schools in the area.

The cost of future expansion improvements at Auchmuty High School are estimated at £3 million, the cost of which would be shared with this, and other future housing developments, across the catchment area.