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Major development proposal for housing in prime agricultural land west of Kingsbarns village square
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Housing plan for Kingsbarns

Cheryl Wood and Gordon Berry, The Courier, 6 May 2010

An East Fife estate is pressing ahead with plans for a substantial residential development at Kingsbarns which would include government-funded affordable homes.

Cambo Estate has applied for full planning permission for 22 new homes on the western edge of the village, south of Station Road.

A dozen of the properties would be affordable, 10 of them coming through the Scottish Government's Rural Homes for Rent scheme, and the other two funded by the estate.

The proposal has been submitted in conjunction with an application in principle for a further 18 "open market" homes north of Station Road.

If given the green light it is proposed to create a 'village green' as part of the development - open space which could be used by the local primary and a play area for children.

The 2.6 hectares west of the square is designated for housing in the finalised St Andrews and East Fife Local Plan.

In a report to Fife Council the applicant's agent said that development will have particular consideration for the sensitivities of the site, which lies adjacent to the Kingsbarns conservation area.

"Particular attention will be paid to views into and out of the conservation area. The height, massing and detail of building designs will respect the character of the locality and will not exceed two storeys.

"In addition to respecting the character of Kingsbarns the site will be developed in a manner which pays due regard to the open nature of the countryside area to the west and the amenity of existing residents to the south east and north east," said the agent.

The affordable homes would go to tenants from Fife Council's housing waiting list, the firm said, with vetting by Cambo Estates.

The land is currently used for grazing. A dilapidated agricultural shed in a corner of the site would he demolished to make way for the houses.

The proposed development is one of several in Scotland, but the only one in Fife, to be awarded cash from the Rural Homes for Rent scheme last July.

There is already some opposition, however, with resident Katherine Holy stating her "very strong objection."

She said the field is opposite the church and square, which are "full of listed buildings, and the appearance of the village would be totally altered.

"Fife Council has itself said that this field would be the least appropriate spot for increasing the housing stock.

"Kingsbarns has grown over the past 30 years since I moved there, but new building has been in-filling on existing sites and sympathetic to the nature of the existing buildings.

"Steadings have been built in existing farmyards, for example. We have a healthy school and post office and the village, which is essentially a rural village, would be damaged by the development suggested.

"It is vital to maintain the appearance of an East Neuk village which tourists come to visit precisely because of its heritage, particularly as the East Neuk is such a popular tourist destination and brings money into Fife," she said.

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