Fife coastline to be reshaped as village housing plans given go ahead

An ambitious housing plan, which will include the reshaping of a notoriously unsafe stretch of the Fife coastline, has been approved.

Thursday, 19th May 2016, 2:53 pm
Updated Thursday, 19th May 2016, 3:57 pm
The notoriously unsafe red sandstone rockface at West Wemyss is to be removed as part of the plans

Central area planning committee yesterday (Wednesday) gave the go ahead for 40 new homes in the coastal village of West Wemyss, which is hoped will help revitalise the area.

The housing plans from the application, which was originally presented in 2006 and finally given permission in principle in 2010, includes extensive reduction and sloping of a stretch of red sandstone cliff face that has been deemed dangerous and has been fenced off to protect the public for over a decade.

However, the restoration of the listed harbour master’s house, as well as redevelopment of the harbour front, included in the original application, have not been approved at this time.

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Now detailed housing proposal, put forward on behalf of the applicant - the Wemyss Estate - has been granted conditional approval.

A report by Fife Council planning planning officers advised that the new homes, consisting of a mix of terrace and semi-detached dwellings, ‘attempted to recreated the density an irregularity of the existing village’ and furthermore added that if carried out in full and with care would ‘provide a sympathetic extension’ to West Wemyss.

However the Forestry Commission raised concerns over the loss of existing woodland that would be removed as part of the re-grading of the unsafe cliff face and site clearance.

As part of the plans, it has been agreed that approximately 75 per cent of the woodland frontage to the road leading to the village will be retained.

Tom Adams, central area planning committee chairman said the plans were “both very ambitious and certainly welcomed.”

He added: “I was born in West Wemyss and lived there all my life and would love this to go ahead. If it does it opens up huge possibilities for the village and for the harbour, the hotel and revitalising the rest of the community.”