Fife Council abandons bid to expand Coaltown village

The site of the proposed development
The site of the proposed development

A controversial social housing development planned for Coaltown of Balgonie has been abandoned - to the delight of residents who have opposed the plans.

Fife Council’s proposal to build 24 new dwellings on former National Coal Board land in Lady Nina Square, which would have more than doubled the current population in that area, has been scrapped following an inspection of the site.

A Scottish Water report confirmed substantial work would have to be undertaken to resolve low water pressure and drainage issues resulting in costs that would push the development well above the Council’s value for money benchmark.

Residents first aired their concerns, including traffic congestion, parking and the impact the design of the houses would have on the community, at a public meeting with Council architects back in January.

Resident Daniel Brown welcomed the decision but was also critical of Fife Council’s handling of the proposal.

“It asks the question as to why this survey wasn’t conducted before the Council had architects draw up three sets of plans for the site,” he told the Gazette.

“Quite frankly they have been naive in the way they have approached this development proposal.

“Nobody wanted the new housing scheme in the town and the whole affair has brought a lot of anxiety and stress for residents.”

Councillor Ross Vettraino said he had been inundated with complaints about low water pressure and is now calling an urgent assessment of the problems of low water pressure which he believes affect the whole Coaltown area.

He said: “I am surprised that the Council did not examine the parameters associated with water pressure before it advanced the proposal for housing as far as it did. The solution may be expensive, but Scottish Water has a duty to ensure a water supply, which is both satisfactory and adequate throughout the whole of Coaltown of Balgonie.

“A water supply that isn’t of adequate pressure to enable people to shower at certain times of the day just isn’t good enough.”

He added: “I am pressing the utility company to take action to remedy the problem without delay.”