Falkland housing plan criticised by residents groups

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More than 70 residents of Falkland turned out to see revised plans by developer Springfield Homes at a second public consultation event held in the village last Friday.

Springfield Homes seeks to build 104 new homes on the former Smith Anderson factory site.

However, the proposal has caused controversy in the historic village with both Falkland and Newton of Falkland Community Council and a local campaign group, voicing their objections, primarily over the scale of the development and impact on the village.

Local MP Stephen Gethins has also called on the housing developers to take the views of the community on board.

A spokesperson for the Falkland Factory Site campaign group said the event did nothing to change their views.

A spokesperson said: “Residents were insulted to find that only one corner of the proposed development was illustrated.

“They also discovered that comments from residents would not be received.

“Four Springfield staff attending were in the difficult position of being unable to answer basic questions about the lack of a play park, or the disappearance of required employment land.

“Although the developers were clear that multiple mature trees fringing the site would be felled – even though these are part of the Fife green core path.”

Following the meeting, the chair of the community council, Rod Crawford, said: “It is very disappointing that Springfield has ignored so many of the points raised in the community council’s response to their consultation.

“We will be seeking support from the highest level of Fife Council to ensure that planning rules are rigorously followed.”

Stephen Gethins MP, who met with both residents and the Springfield Homes team, said: “Any development be sensitive to the needs of this historic village and I hope that when the application is submitted Springfield Homes will have taken the views of the community on board.”

A Springfield spokesman said: “We are working on a design for this development in Falkland which is informed by Scottish Government Guidance and meets legislation, regulation and local need.

“It will deliver an attractive development which will include highly energy efficient homes and could offer opportunities for business and improved recreational spaces.”