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proposal for housing in prime agricultural land west of Kingsbarns village
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Kingsbarns Community Council blasts planning
Gordon Berry, The Courier, 4 August 2010
An East Neuk community council has written to the local MP
and MSP, and the three ward local councillors, to express concern over what it
calls the "hypocrisy" of Fife Council's planning process.
Kingsbarns Community Council has claimed that although the
council professes to listen to local people as a community, and to take in what
they say, it then goes on to totally ignore their representations.
The comments have come from chairman Rob Moodie as North
East Fife councillors prepare to discuss the finalised St Andrews and East Fife
Local Plan, which has attracted more than 2000 comments, representations and
objections from several different areas during two consultation periods.
The claim that local concerns are not listened to has been
raised time and again.
Giving an example of concern in his area, Mr Moodie said
there had been no explanation to the community as to why prime agricultural
land is being allocated for a 40-house (20%) expansion of the conservation
village, which is not being promoted by the community.
"This is not 'effective engagement and discussion with the
public', the core principle of Scottish planning policy," he said.
Referring to the local plan, Mr Moodie said this would
reiterate the recommendation of the officers that land be allocated for 40
This, he said, was said to meet a strategic allocation as
part of the East Neuk, but no justification had been given of housing need in
the community, nor how it meets the needs of the wider community.
He said that already about 30% of housing stock is owned as
holiday accommodation, and it is anticipated that almost all new houses built
for sale will be purchased as second homes, contributing little to the life of
The letter went on to say that meetings of Kingsbarns
Community Council are well attended, and the council represents the views of a
community which is now "overwhelmingly against" any greenfield development.
Mr Moodie said that in a survey of every home in the
village and surrounding area, last summer, a majority supported not more than
20 additional houses over the plan period.
The local landowner, however, had lodged an objection to
the local plan to enable a total of 66 houses to be built.
"It is clear that the original consideration by the
community council of a small development of 20 houses bears no relation to the
landowner's desire to create a large development, which would dwarf the village
and render any conservation status irrelevant."
Mr Moodie added that there were other issues, one of which
was well presented by St Andrews Preservation Trust in their objection to the
Kingsbarns Local Plan Housing Proposal. This, he said, concerned the value of
limiting any growth to small-scale organic growth as defined in the approved
Fife Structure Plan. A copy of the community council's grounds for objection to
the planning application for the 22 houses is attached for information.
Mr Moodie has asked MP Sir Menzies Campbell and MSP lain
Smith for their support in ensuring that the community views are fully
"We need to feel ownership of the plan that will shape our
future," Mr Moodie said. more Community
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