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Fife Structure Plan -
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Structure plan challenge advanced
The Courier, 5 January 2010
A legal challenge to the Fife Structure Plan is to come to
one of the highest courts in the land court in a fortnight's time-several
months earlier than expected.
The Court of Session in Edinburgh will hear the action
raised by a St Andrews resident over three days, starting January 19.
Penny Uprichard lodged the challenge last July, two months
after Scottish ministers approved Fife Council's 20-year framework for the
development of the region.
The document proposes 35,200 new houses up to 2026, but
ahead of its rubber-stamping by the government attracted an unprecedented
number of objections.
For the west of St Andrews, its proposals include 1090 new
houses, a distributor road and a science park and business park.
Although the action relates mainly to the St Andrews
housing numbers, it nevertheless challenges the ministers on the entire
Success of the challenge would impact directly on council
policy and could result in the plan being sent back to the council.
But Miss Uprichard reckons it is the only way that the
historic university town can be saved from "huge damage."
"It is difficult to understand what council officials and
developers think will happen to the 'most important small historic burgh in
Scotland' if this deluge of housing, roads and infrastructure is approved.
"Recent exhibitions and articles have demonstrated the scale
of the proposed impact on St Andrews.
"If the western expansion was approved and made a huge
breach in the landscape setting of the town, much of 'green bowl' would be
Miss Uprichard has already raised more than £37,000 in
pledges and donations for possible legal costs and has made an eleventh hour
appeal for more.
Her action has the backing of the Royal Burgh of St Andrews
Community Council, St Andrews Preservation Trust, Protect Rural East Fife and
the Association for the Protection of Rural Scotland.
It alleges that Scottish ministers have failed to give a
proper, adequate and intelligible reason for not modifying the finalised
structure plan in line with specific objections received.
Progression of the draft Kirkcaldy and Mid Fife and
Dunfermline and West Fife local plans and the St Andrews and East Fife Local
Plans were timetabled to follow approval of the structure plan.
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