Pipped to the core by Cupar North plans

Roderick Gauld in his garden in Back Lebanon, which has been zoned in the Cupar North plans for housing. (Photo: Dave Scott)
Roderick Gauld in his garden in Back Lebanon, which has been zoned in the Cupar North plans for housing. (Photo: Dave Scott)

Concerns have been raised about the impact of the Cupar North housing project after a local man discovered his garden has been included in the controversial plan.

Roderick Gauld, who has lived at the family home in Back Lebanon for almost 20 years, says the orchard, to the rear of his property, is shown on the plan as being part of the mass-housing proposal.

Cupar North – being driven by a consortium of developers – envisages 1400 houses being built to the north of the town.

Mr Gauld’s orchard, at the back of his garden, sits next to a field, earmarked for some of the housing.

It isn’t the first time he has had concerns about his orchard.

When housing was mooted in the field several years ago, he was asked if he owned that part of his garden, which his title deeds clearly showed he did.

His concerns over the planning process in general stems from the neighbouring NHS dental building.

It moved to four different locations on plans before controversially being built on a very elevated site, “without adequate tree screening, which was promised” said Mr Gauld.

It was earlier this year when Mr Gauld was looking at some “sketchy plans” that he was surprised to see part of his garden zoned for housing.

He wasn’t sure if the Council was working from some old plans or that the authority proposed to produce more precise ones.

“They seem to be taking the scatter-gun approach so they can formulate the plan at a later date in more detail.”

He is particularly worried about flooding if new houses are to be built in that part of the town.

“Flooding is a big issue and should be a primary concern, with Bank Street like a river in heavy rain.”

Bank Street itself already had congestion problems, with hospital and health centre users parking on the road.

“There are plenty of brownfield sites in the town, but they cost too much to develop. It is much easier for the Council to have to deal with just the one site.”

Andrew Sim, planner with Fife Council, told the Herald: “I can reassure individuals and those living close to the proposed Strategic Development Area that discussions around proposals for Cupar North are at an early stage. The indicative diagram is very much a first look at how development of the area could appear. The diagram is published within the adopted St Andrews and East Fife Local Plan and will inform FIFEplan. There is still some time to go before any final decisions on the arrangement and layout of land uses within Cupar North are made,” added Mr Sim.

At last month’s meeting of Cupar Community Council it was revealed that public consultation events were being held next month and December, along with a presentation to the community council in February.