Opposition to revised Leslie House development

Leslie House
Leslie House

Revised plans to build 29 new homes in woodland that once made up part of the Leslie House estate have been submitted to Fife Council for approval.

The planning application, on behalf of Muir Homes, replaces planning approval the company was granted in 2008 to build 12 houses within the ground of Leslie House.

As part of the original consent, permission was only granted on what is green corridor land because of the inclusion of an ‘enabling development’ clause which meant profits from the sale of the completed homes would be used to help withe the refurbishment costs of Leslie House which was being converted into 17 luxury flats.

But after clearing a large are of established woodland the development was put on hold in February 2009 following a fire which gutted Leslie House.

Muir Homes has now put forward the new application which is expected to come before Fife Council’s central area planning committee in October.

The move has angered a number of local residents including Richard and Soli Graves, who have lived at Dukes Lodge close to Leslie House for over 30 years. They say they are “dismayed” by the new application.

“Over 500 people signed a petition against the original plans, and while that was hard to accept that planning consent was granted,at least we would see the restoration of Leslie House,” said Mr Graves.

“But the house is now a shell and will take millions of £s worth of investment to restore and with no work likely to start anytime soon if the local authority approves this then we will see a further 21 mature trees felled to make way for new houses but Leslie House will be left in ruin.

“I fear that if councillors do not take into account the previous planning history connected to this site we will see this application for 29 houses approved, effectivley signing the death warrant for Leslie House.”

As the Gazette went to press Muir Homes was unavailable for comment, however, William Gray Muir, managing director of Edinburgh-based Sundial Properties, who own Leslie House, said they were unaware of the new plans.

“We have not been made aware of any new proposals or how that would affect the original enabling agreement and our plans to re-develop Leslie House,” he said.

“We remain committed to the future of Leslie House and want to make it work, but we will have to wait to see an improvement in the housing market which remains extremely challenging.”

The public have until July 6 to make comments on the plans (ref: 14/01916/full) via Fife Council’s website as part of a public consultation process.