30-year, multi-million £ blueprint unveiled to expand Dunfermline
A 30-year blueprint for expanding Dunfermline has been agreed, paving the way for millions of pounds of investment in the Fife town.
The Dunfermline Strategic Transportation Intervention Measures (STIM) plan, part of the wider Edinburgh and South East Scotland Region Deal, will see new orbital roads built along the northern and western edges of the town to encourage the construction of up to 8,000 new homes across nine new neighbourhoods.
Fife councillors approved the business case for the project today [Thursday May 13], which will involve a bid for £16.5 million of grant funding from the Scottish Government over 15 years after the case is approved by the city region deal's joint committee.
Council chiefs say the link roads will also "unlock" the development of new schools and community centres across Halbeath, Wellwood, Swallowdrum, Colton, Berrylaw and Broomhall along with active travel links, parks, healthcare facilities and improvements to existing secondary school provision.
Cllr David Alexander, Fife Council SNP co-leader, said: “The business case for the Dunfermline Strategic Transportation Intervention Measures Programme - part of the Edinburgh and South East Scotland (ESES) Region City Deal – will now be submitted to the City Region Deal Joint Committee and thereafter the Scottish Government to support grant applications to part-fund the programme.
“Fife Council will deliver a major investment programme in strategic transportation infrastructure in Dunfermline to support the delivery of homes, employment land and community infrastructure such as schools, shops and urban parks.
"This infrastructure will create climate friendly and climate ready development linking transport infrastructure.
"Such investment will accelerate inclusive growth, create new economic opportunities, and new jobs that will help to reduce inequalities in the Dunfermline area and beyond.”
His Labour equivalent, co-leader Cllr David Ross, added: "This is one of the key benefits we are getting from the City Region Deal and is crucial to Dunfermline’s development. The Dunfermline SDA [Strategic Development Area] programme will not only assist Fife’s post-COVID 19 economic recovery but will also unlock the delivery of up to 2,000 affordable houses.
“The business case proposal, through the Housing Infrastructure Fund, will unlock and accelerate investment in essential new strategic transportation infrastructure in the Dunfermline area.”
Economic development chiefs at Fife Council say the link roads will bring in a further £67.9 million of developer contributions towards new schools and community facilties, along with £150 million of direct benefits as housebuilders create 6,000 private homes and 2,000 affordable dwellings.
Furthermore, the new link roads will sustain 1,000 construction jobs every year for the next 30 years, and over 1,000 other long-term employment opportunities as additional public transport need and local shops are created.
Pam Ewen, head of planning, said: "This unlocks large scale development and large scale growth of market homes, affordable homes, active travel, community infrastructure and will also increase footfall in the town centres."
The £1.3 billion Edinburgh and South East City Region Deal was finalised in August 2018 as a stimulus package creating new jobs, bringing in new investment and promoting economic growth. The Scottish and UK Governments are contributing £600 million to the deal, with the other £700 million coming from regional partners including Fife Council.