Planning gives green light for Glenrothes expansion

The Westfield Park site
The Westfield Park site

The go-ahead for one of the biggest development projects planned for Glenrothes in a generation has been approved by councillors.

The 10-year, multi-phased application, which includes 420 new homes, industrial units and a range of retail and commercial properties to be built at Westfield Park, on land between Stenton and Thornton, was given conditional approval by members of Fife Council’s central area planning committee.

It was put forward by Landteam Scotland Ltd and Scottish Enterprise.

The masterplan includese a creche, restaurant, provision for a school and will include a minimum of at least ten per cent of affordable housing, in a mix of house sizes, to be built across the whole development site.

A contribution by the developer towards the provision of public art would also be sought.

The huge 41 hectare site would be built in phases, the first of which would exist of approximatly 80-100 houses at the south east corner of the site, just north of existing homes in Lochty View Way.

The development would be served by existing access points off Bankhead roundabout as well as the opening up of existing provisional road junctions on Foxton Drive which runs as southern border to the whole site.

Industrial businesses already in the area would not be affected.

In a report by Elspeth Cook, Fife Council’s planning department case officer states: “The development seeks to retain the existing industrial activity to the north of and centre of the site and there are no plans to redevelop any of the existing occupied employment land for residential development.”

The proposal was broadly welcomed by those Glenrothes councillors who sit on the committee.

Kay Morrison said: “This project provides an important mix of housing and retail of the kind we have been fighting for many years, I wholeheartedly back this application in principle.”

Peter Grant added: “It’s a balanced development we should be supporting. We need both new housing and facilitiy to generate business within the town and this proposal offers both.”

However, councillors raised the issue of what impact the large increase in population residing in the area would have on existing road infrastructure including the A92, Bankhead and Redhouse roundabouts and B9130 through Thornton, Coucillor Grant voiced concerns that despite the expectation the majority of traffic accessing the site planned to be accomodated by access roads off Foxton Drive.

Officers from transportation services confirmed that other than junction improvements to Bankhead roundabout and other lesser road tansport infrastructure provision that existing road infrastructure would not need to be upgraded.

Concerns over the long-term need for primary school provision easing the demand on existing schools inoutlying communities was also raised.

Councillor Altany Craik, chairman of Glenrothes area committee welcomed the decision.

Following the meeting he told the Gazette: “While this is an application in principle, it is the right development for that part of Glenrothes.

“We had a thorough examination of the issues around the proposed plan and are satisfied that that the conditions imposed will ensure that this development fits well into the area.

“The mixed nature of the development should ensure that amenities are in place for the residents and that the industrial area is still suppported.

“I look forward to seeing the more detailed plans in the future and that 420 houses will be provided by the end of the development will ease pressure on local housing needs.”