Developers pull plans for homes branded ‘millionaires row’ at Kirkcaldy seafront
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They say they are taking time to review public objections and concerns before returning with new plans for the Seafield coast at a later date.
The Seafield Consortium has twice sought planning permission to build houses on land it described as “unkempt and unsightly” waste ground and twice the plans have been met with public objections.
In 2022, the consortium tried and failed to secure planning permission for eight homes, with one central and west Fife planning committee councillor dubbing the development a “millionaires’ row.” In June, they brought back new plans for just six homes on Kirkcaldy’s Seafield Plateau off Craigfoot Place, but in the face of 39 public objections and concerns from the Coal Authority, the proposals have been withdrawn.
“It is our intention to review the responses provided to this point in further detail. Once we and the consultants acting for the applicants have reviewed and considered the concerns raised by the planning authority and consultees, we will be able to prepare a revised planning submission,” development architects told the council.
The proposals for six single-storey properties related to land near Seafield Beach. Before they were withdrawn, developers wanted to squeeze a new row of houses between the existing properties and Fife Coastal Path.
The council received 39 separate public objections and just five letters of support from community members.
Local residents argued that the plateau is well used by walkers and has been identified as protected open space/green space.
One local couple argued that the site currently provides safe passage for children walking back and forth to school and should be protected.
They also argued that the development would alter and possibly destabilise the sloping embankment down to the beach which they claim is “likely to have a significant detrimental impact on Fife Coastal Path which runs directly adjacent.”
Another objector stated: “I fully object to any planning on what was and should be maintained as a green space.”
They continued: “This is not affordable housing so it has zero community benefit other than to disrupt and destroy an area used to give pleasure to people not only from Kirkcaldy but surrounding areas.”
The council itself previously acknowledged and protected the plateau as green space.
An objection from the chair of the Seafield Community Neighbour Group quoted a letter from a planning officer in 2002 which stated the plateau “should be protected from development and should be part of the open space giving access to the beach and the coastal path in order to protect the amenity of the open space and path.”
The Coal Authority has also raised “substantive concerns” about the safety of the development.
“Coal Authority records indicate that there are four coal mine entries present within the site,” planning papers state. “Records also indicate that unlicensed mine roadways are present beneath the site, including at shallow depth.”
They continued: “We take this opportunity to highlight that any form of development over or within the influencing distance of a mine entry can be dangerous and raises significant safety and engineering risks and exposes all parties to potential financial liabilities. The Coal Authority has adopted a policy where, as a general precautionary principle, the building over or within the influencing distance of a mine entry should wherever possible be avoided.”
Architects for the project seemed to indicate that the Seafield Consortium will return with new proposals at a later date.