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proposal for housing in prime agricultural land west of Kingsbarns village
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Estate housing plan proves controversial
The Courier, 8 June 2010
A major residential
development proposed for Kingsbarns by the owner of a local estate is
being met with strong opposition.
Cambo Estate has lodged the proposals for 22 houses on the
western edge of the village, which would include government-funded affordable
The estate - owned by Sir Peter and Lady Catherine Erskine
- has applied to Fife Council for full planning permission for 22 homes 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
However, members of Kingsbarns Community Council have
joined with numerous villagers in opposing the controversial plans, amid
concerns that it is the first phase of a 66-house proposal as recorded in an
objection to the St Andrews and east Fife local plan.
In a letter of
objection, a spokesperson for the community organisation said the
application is contrary to the approved structure plan for 2006-26 in that the
site lies outwith the boundary of Kingsbarns, on prime quality agricultural
land and in an area of great landscape value.
He added, "The existing primary school is near capacity
with a current roll of 36 multi-level pupils, sharing two classrooms.
"Spare capacity in the new sewage works is limited to less
than 10 houses and inadequate for the proposed development.
"The entire area of the village is a conservation area, one
of the first designated in Scotland, where householders are restricted in what
they can do with their properties, but they value their rich heritage and
historic environment with growth limited to meeting local needs by small-scale
The community council has also claimed that, from recent
experiences, there is a risk of flooding in the area.
The spokesman said, "The development brief
prepared by the applicant, which covers an area capable of accommodating 40
houses, was not submitted for the approval of the community council.
"It contains factually inaccurate statements - for example
there is no piped gas supply in the village."
The design of the development would not maintain or enhance
the visual amenity of the setting, says the community council, which also
maintains there is not sufficient local need for housing.
The community group also considers that the application is
premature, pending the adoption of the St Andrews and east Fife local plan, and
points out a Fife Council survey of alternative sites in Kingsbarns in 2005
concluded that the proposed site "should not be put forward as a possible
development site." more Community
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