Kinghorn Community Council's anger over housing planning decision

Kinghorn Community Council is seeking an urgent meeting with Fife Council planners following the decision to allow a controversial housing development to go ahead.

Thursday, 29th November 2018, 12:00 pm
Roy Mackie and Alan McIlravie from Kinghorn Community Council at the site. Pic by FPA

The Royal Burgh of Kinghorn Community Council says its objections to the development at the entrance to Kinghorn from Burntisland for reasons including the development not being suitable for the area, as well as road safety reasons, were dismissed without proper consideration or explanation.

And it wants to meet with the officials involved in the report on which the recommendation for acceptance was based and which led to it being approved, to hear why it was given the green light.

The central Fife planning committee approved the decision for 27 flats on Burntisland Road, Kinghorn, last week by six votes to two, with objections from local residents and the community council, who described the development as “out of keeping with the surrounding area”

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Alan McIlravie, chairman of the community council, said the decision had left members angry and perplexed.

“We spent hours and hours going around canvassing the opinions of people in Kinghorn when all the points about it being of an unsuitable design for the prominent location at the gateway to the village and next to a conservation area were raised, as well as people’s concerns about extra traffic so close to the primary school were raised.

“We then went back to Fife Council’s own planning guidelines to ensure they were put forward in a way that complied with both them and the Scottish Government’s guidelines, yet this was all dismissed by the planning officer without any explaination as to how this decision has been reached.

“The council has gone against its own legislation and has not even called for a site visit, despite the fact that the vast majority of people living here were against it.

“Community councils are here as statutory bodies to represent the opinions of the people they represent, yet planning officials have just ridden roughshod over our objections.

“On the subject of the traffic management he has just passed all of this on to the police and the road engineers.

“We were caught out badly with the Lovell’s development when they wanted to close the road for 26 weeks, so in this submission we asked that there should be a traffic management plan to see how this will be dealt with because it is right next to the primary school.

“We asked where the site traffic will be parked and how it will be managed but the planners have just said it’s nothing to do with them and passed it on, which is completely unacceptable.

“I spoke to the police and they know what’s coming their way despite them having nothing to do with the application in the first place.

“It’s wholly unprofessional to pass it on to someone else and say it’s their problem.”

Alastair Hamilton, service manager for development management with Fife Council, said: “Kinghorn Community Council should contact us if they have concerns with how their objections have been addressed and we will provide them with a full response.”