Fife village braced for new battle over homes plan

Campion Homes has appealed the decision to reject its proposal to build 80 new homes in Aberdour.
Campion Homes has appealed the decision to reject its proposal to build 80 new homes in Aberdour.

Aberdour residents are bracing themselves for a further battle with developers after Campion Homes this week appealed to the Scottish Government over the decision to reject its proposal to build 80 new homes in the village.

The housing firm’s appeal comes less than a month after its controversial plan to build 80 new homes at Nether Bouprie Farm in the western end of the village was emphatically thrown out by planners.

The planning application, one of three major housing proposals being opposed by residents, had received over 700 letters of objection.

However, in a detailed five page letter outlining its appeal, Campion Homes blame an orchestrated campaign by residents against all development, claiming persons outwith Aberdour had been approached to “bolster numbers of objections”.

“The process and the outcome appears to be a campaign against development rather than any objective assessment of the merit of the proposal,” said Campion in its appeal report.

The firm also claim 60 per cent of objections were submitted using a standard template letter, accounting for the high number of objections, including from England, as well others from New Zealand and America. It added that 160 objections were submitted after the official deadline.

Furthermore, Campion Homes add that rather than detracting from the attraction of Aberdour as a place to live, the development would complement the village while providing for specific housing need, and would likely only add around 175 residents over several years. Fife Council now have 21 days to respond to the appeal.

Responding to the appeal, Ian Flemming, chairman of Aberdour Community Council, voiced his surprise at the appeal and said the group would be making a representation, based on the views of residents, to the appeal process.

“It’s a bold move by the developer but to dismiss the number of objections, the vast majority of which have come from within the village by people voicing genuine concerns is disappointing.”

He added: “The decision didn’t lie with the village, planners took into account the impact on numerous levels.”