More time for Cupar residents to have say on controversial development

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Cupar residents have been given more time to have their say on plans which could dramatically change the shape of the town.

Fife Council has extended the initial period to submit representations to the proposed Cupar North development until at least January 15 amid concerns members of the public were not being given enough to time to consider the application.

The plans could see the creation of 1,490 homes, a relief road, a new primary school and an out-of-town commercial quarter – although they have proved divisive in the community.

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The deadline for comments and objections to the blueprint was due to fall on January 6, but Fife Council’s planning department has extended that until January 15 given the Christmas holidays.

Fife CouncilFife Council
Fife Council

But it is understood that Cupar Community Council has formally requested a further extension to the cut-off as it is not due to meet again until after that date.

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Gina Logan, chairp of Cupar Community Council, has appealed to everyone interested in the development not to miss out on having their say, with a drop-in session due to take place from 2:00pm to 7:00pm on Tuesday, December 14, at the Old Parish Church Centre.

“Cupar North is the biggest – and perhaps most controversial – development affecting Cupar for generations,” she said.

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Cupar North masterplanCupar North masterplan
Cupar North masterplan

“Many people have told me they are really concerned about this plan, but they don’t feel their views and concerns have ever been listened to.

“Some also feel there are far too many groups involved in this plan – but no real community engagement or desire to achieve what is truly best for the community.”

Ms Logan acknowledges the need for housing to meet a growing need, but describes Cupar North as a “20-year-old plan based on things we needed then”.

She continued: “Times have changed and we need to create far more sustainable, smaller developments nearer services – not sprawling estates that could erode so much of the landscape that is part of Cupar, increase the potential for problems like flooding and are so far out of town it will increase car dependency at a time when we need to reduce emissions.

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“The community council wants to give local people the chance to have their say.

“People have said to me they are really worried about the impact of Cupar North and that developers and those with a vested interest are riding roughshod over the views of those who live here.

“We would particularly like to hear from young people who this impacts on most.

“If Cupar North goes ahead it will change Cupar forever, so we need to make our views known before it’s too late.”

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The issue of the timescale for submitting comments was raised earlier this week by former Fife councillor Bryan Poole, who has welcomed the extension but is still far from happy.

“Given the scale of this application councillors should be pro-actively engaging with the community to explain the thinking behind this application, listening to the concerns it has, and acting to mitigate them,” he said.

“Instead, from way back in 2005 when their development was first discovered some within Fife Council have tried to push this through with as little community engagement as they could get away with.

“The timescale for considering this application is yet another example of this.”

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