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Future of Kingsbarns - Cambo Estate proposal - 10/00873/FULL - 22 houses West of Square
Letter of objection - one of over 30 objections to this proposal
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St Andrews Preservation Trust Ltd.

Planning Application 10/00873/FULL - Land West of Kingsbarns, Cambo Estate

The Preservation Trust objects to this application, which is contained within the Trust's geographical remit, on the following grounds:

1. It is located in a Structure Plan Strategic Land Allocation. The Structure Plan is currently subject to a legal challenge, and cannot be regarded as a sound basis for decision making until the legal action is resolved.

2. It is premature to the adoption of finalised St Andrews and East Fife Local Plan 2009, which will be subject to an examination in public. This is a controversial development and it cannot he assumed that the combined impact of development on Kingsbarns will be approved.

3. The SAEFLP notes a requirement in regard to the proposed development that in respect of this site there must be "engagement with the local community to procure a development brief for the planned expansion of the village". The development brief submitted does not report on the views of the community respect of this development and consequently does not meet the requirements of the Local Plan and the legislation or community engagement. A main objective of the amendments to planning legislation recently implemented is that development decisions should be plan led. This ad hoc, premature application does not meet this requirement.

4. We have noted in our representations in relation to the Local Plan consultation (attached) that a Strategic Environmental Assessment was not carried out in respect of Local Plan development proposals at the options appraisal stage. Without such an assessment which meets SEA criteria development cannot legally proceed.

Alternative development sites have previously been identified in the village, and without such an assessment there is no evidence that the current proposals are the options which best meets environmental criteria.

It is noted from the Development Brief submitted with the application that a community meeting was held on 10 December 2008 and a meeting was held between the developer and Kingsbarns Community Council on 26 January 2009. In January 2009 the developer and the chair of the community council was the same person.

Despite the statement in the letter from MFA that the outcome of the questionnaires returned by residents would be reported on, this cannot be found in the documents provided by the applicant.

There is therefore no evidence that community views have been taken into account, but clear evidence that the consultation process has not met National Standards for such exercises, the statutory requirements for meaningful engagement with the community described in Pan 81, read together with circular 5-2009, Hierarchy of Development, RTPI guidance.

It is also clear that effective community engagement involves consultation processes agreed between the stakeholders and the Council which have not been implemented in case and that the application properly cannot proceed without such a robust and transparent process, which is objectively reported upon to the Council as decision maker.

5. There is a statement in the letter from the developer's agent that its development is seen as part of a more extensive plan which includes proposed development north of Station Road. Case law relating to the Environmental Impact Assessment (Scotland) Regulations 1999 has required changes to the EIA (Scotland) Regulations 2010 which incorporates the implications of this case law. In particular, incremental developments are subject to EIA assessments when thresholds are reached.

It is our view however that an EIA is required for the current site and that it qualifies as a major development requiring by law an enhance programme of public consultation.

6. The Trust in its Local Plan response has emphasised the need for careful incremental growth if this sensitive conservation area is to be preserved or enhanced. There are no proposals in the development brief for the sensitive scheduling of development.

7. Until the Local Plan has completed its full process, including an examination in public, the proposed site is a greenfield site in agricultural use. Development on this site would essentially qualify as development in the countryside and be subject to Policy E13 in the 1996 Local Plan, which requires a demonstrated need for a countryside location.

8. While recognising the need for affordable housing, environmental criteria indicate that this should provide accommodation for local need, if unnecessary travel is to be avoided. No evidence of local need has been provided with this application.

9. In conclusion, the Trust regards this proposal to be premature in relation to the Local Plan and not in accordance with legislation regarding environmental protection and the legal requirement for meaningful community engagement. It should therefore be refused planning permission.

Yours sincerely

David N. Middleton Planning Policy Convener

Enc. Local Plan Submission for S.A.P.T. in respect of proposed Kingsbarns development.

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