Altrincham-based Mansion House Group had tabled ambitious proposals to create up to 200 homes on land to the south of Whitehill Road which is currently part of Whitehill Industrial Estate.
But members of the central and west planning committee expressed real reservations about the blueprint in front of them and unanimously turned down planning permission in principle for the proposals.
Committee members heard that Fife Council’s own transportation department had opposed the application as it only proposed one single point of access, while officers said the development could create an “undesirable mix” of housing and industrial traffic on a long straight cul-de-sac with pedestrians having to cross several vehicle accesses to industrial units.
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Planners had recommended approval, but Councillor David Alexander’s motion to refuse was backed by colleagues.
“I don’t think this is a good development,” he commented.
“We’ve got our own people, people in Fife Council, against this, and to have 200 vehicles apparently having to access just one road bothers me.”
Councillor John Beare said he too was “genuinely struggling” with the development, adding: “What we’re apparently being asked to do here is wrapping two smaller housing developments around an industrial estate: if we were doing it in reverse would we be inserting an industrial estate between two smaller housing estates?
“I don’t think this is an appropriate plan.”
The proposed residential development, which would have seen a mix of two and three-storey detached dwellings and apartments, came almost a decade after planning permission in principle was given for development on site, although the new application supersedes that.
Mansion House Group recently took over the site which dates from the 1960s and was originally in use as a piggery with many of the buildings subsequently converted to industrial use.
Many vacant units have been subjected to anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and other problems.
Mansion House Group undertook a programme of waste clearance and tightened security measures.
The company also signalled its intention to demolish most of the vacant units if permission was secured.