Fife Council: Plans to build five new homes on site of ruined Mourn House rejected

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Fife Council has rejected redevelopment plans for land at the former Mourn House near Auchtertool.

The building is a ruin which has accommodated housing since at least 1854, and earlier this year, Kirkcaldy based Davidson Baxter Partnership, sought council approval to build five new courtyard houses on the site. However, the council has officially shot down the proposals to safeguard Fife’s countryside from “unjustified sporadic residential development” and to safeguard the rural character of the Local Landscape Area.

“The proposed houses would be in an isolated position and would visually encroach on the rural nature of the site and its context, to the detriment of visual quality of Cullaloe Hills and Coast Local Landscape Area and its countryside setting,” the council said in its rejection letter.

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Developers said the new houses would have mimicked the footprint of Mourn House and claimed the “mix use of high quality residential housing will be of future benefit to the local community and businesses alike.”

Mourn House ruins and surrounding land (Pic: Fife Council Planning papers)Mourn House ruins and surrounding land (Pic: Fife Council Planning papers)
Mourn House ruins and surrounding land (Pic: Fife Council Planning papers)

However, the council saw things differently. In addition to rural and visual safeguarding, the council believes there was insufficient information to fully assess road safety implications of the development.

The authority also claimed it lacked ecological studies to allow a full assessment of the development as regards the natural heritage assets.

Mourn House and its associated buildings are no longer in existence – records show roofs were gone by 1943, and by 1987 it was described as a ruin. The stone remnants on the hill continue to deteriorate and are no longer capable of conversion.

The land has been the subject of previous planning applications in the past, but none have been successful.

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