Cala Homes lodge fresh appeal to Aberdour planning rejection

Developer Cala Homes has appealed for a second time to the Scottish Government.
Developer Cala Homes has appealed for a second time to the Scottish Government.

A controversial proposal to build 85 new homes in a picturesque Fife village, which was thrown out by Fife Councilin July, is to be appealed by the developer.

Cala Homes, which has previously had it application rejected from the Fife authority’s local Development Plan by the Scottish Government reporter, has today confirmed it will appeal the central area planning committee’s rejection to build a mix of private and affordable homes on land south of Main Street to the east of Aberdour.

Planning officers, while acknowledging“strong opposition” to a site that was not included in the FIFEplan, had recommended conditional approval because of the shortfall of available housing land and the need for more homes to be built in the region.

CALA Management Ltd (CALA) said it had given careful consideration before lodging the appeal and now hopes to get the green light on an 85-home site that includes, what it says, is urgently-needed affordable homes for social rent or discounted sale.

Steven Cooper, planning manager with CALA Homes (East), said: “There is a recognised critical shortage of homes across Fife.

“The head of planning agreed that the proposals were fully in accordance with the Local Development Plan (LDP).”

“The Council’s own LDP, requires that because of ongoing shortfalls in housing land supply, appropriate proposals – in and around towns and villages in the areas where shortfalls exist – should be supported.

Mr Cooper, who had previously denounced objectors as a “vocal and organised anti-development group”, added: “The people at the sharp end and who lose out most here are existing local people who want to remain in the village but cannot find a home – as well as those on the waiting lists, who are in desperate housing need.

“The needs of these families do not appear to have been given any weight in the Council’s refusal decision.

“There are at least 21 families who would have benefited from the provision of new affordable homes in Aberdour. We’re hoping that approval of this appeal can help to ease some of the pressure in the local market and meet some of the pent-up demand that exists.”

Reacting to the move by Cala Homes to appeal the decision, Lesley Laird, local MP said this has become “nothing less than a war of attrition and weary Aberdour residents”.

She added: “We desperately need planning reform because, as laws stand, there’s no incentive for developers to give up a fight because they’re only too aware that communities have zero rights of appeal.

“I hope history will repeat itself that the reporter will throw this appeal out again, given the determination of developers, I fear residents will remain stuck in a perpetual “Groundhog Day” campaign.”