Tantallon plans submitted

Bankhead House office
Bankhead House office

A controversial proposal to build social housing dwellings in Tantallon Avenue in Pitteuchar has moved to the formal planning stage.

Fife Council has confirmed it submitted a planning application last week for 11 dwellings on the site currently occupied by the local authority’s Bankhead House facility.

The Council plans to demolish the former children’s home, now used as offices, to make way for the new houses, if the application is approved.

Original plans for the site, which were presented to local residents at a public drop-in event in August, drew a wave of public anger and a formal complaint on behalf of the residents by the Pitteuchar, Stenton and Finglassie Community Council.

Senior housing bosses have since amended plans for the site following two petitions, containing over 230 residents’ signatures, which highlighted a range of concerns.

These included vehicle access, a lack of parking availability and the loss of land traditionally used as a play area by local children.

Councillor Ross Vettraino, who has attended a number of public meetings regarding the plans, has told the Gazette he has had reassurances from Council’s head of housing, Derek Muir, that the residents’ concerns have been taken into account.

“There has been a re-assessment of the original proposal since the local community’s comments and input at the Tantallon Avenue consultation event in August,” said Cllr Vettraino.

“In particular, Mr Muir says the concerns that were raised about parking have led to the revision of the plans to incorporate more parking.”

With the application yet to come before Fife Council’s central area planning committee for consideration, Cllr Vettraino is urging residents to continue to engage in the planning process.

He said: “I hope anyone who has had any concern will take the opportunity to look at what is now finally being proposed and record their comments, which may be either for or against the development.

“It is my view that, if the Council does not hear any objections, it may well assume the local community is content with the proposal.”

Residents urged to add their views

Pitteuchar Stenton and Finglassie Community Council (PSFCC) has urged people to have their say and post their views, either for or against the Tantallon Avenue redevelopment plans.

“With Tantallon Avenue now being a formal planning application stage, this is now the serious end of the process and we are stressing to residents that their views are vital in influencing any future decision that is taken,” said Peter Scobie, PSFCC chairman.

Residents are being advised to leave their comments on Fife Council’s planning website portal – planning reference 14/03680/FULL.

The PSFCC has also said it is considering calling a public meeting regarding the application. Back in October, Derek Muir, Fife Council’s head of housing, told the Gazette they would be happy to discuss the application once it had gone live to clarify public concerns.