Fears are growing that controversial plans to expand the west of Glenrothes could now be approved because of a u-turn by Fife Council, claim campaigners.
An application to develop land at Milldeans Farm in the Newcastle precinct, to build 300 new homes, was emphatically rejected in November, on the advice of planners.
The application received 80 letters of objection and had already been rejected from the Fife Plan, the council’s obligation to the Scottish Government for new homes.
As part of their recommendations, officers agreed with residents that the development would create a number of road safety issues and that the existing Rosemount Road access, could not be expected to support any further developments.
At the time of refusal, Cllr John Wincott, a member of the central area planning committee which refused the application, said: “Officers have indicated the application does not comply with legislation and policy at almost every turn. If appealed, this report must surely be used as part of Fife Council’s defence.”
But following an appeal by Hallam Land Management, which is now being considered by a Scottish Government appointed reporter, submissions made by the council seem to contradict their earlier stance, members of the campaign group - Concerned Newcastle Residents (CNR) have claimed.
“We have seen Fife Council’s response to the reporter’s questions indicating ‘no concerns’ over the impact of the proposed site on road network, contadicts everything that has gone before it,” said CNR’s Brian Sherrings.
“It puts in jeopardy the original decision and the continued delay in receiving an explanation from Fife Council is now seriously affecting our chance of responding to the reporter before he retires to decide the fate of the appeal. We are very unhappy over way the council has handled this appeal.”
Responding to the claims Bill Lindsay, service manager - development plan, said there had been no u-turn.
He added: “We have been consistent in our responses to the application and appeal, and this position hasn’t changed since our consideration of the site in the Local Development Plan. Our position in respect of the junctions at Golf Course Road and South Parks Road and Leslie High Street / Cabbage Hall is that we don’t consider the impact is enough for us to change our original response to the DPEA.”