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Major development proposal for housing in prime agricultural land west of Kingsbarns village square
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Kingsbarns housing plan comes under fire

Gordon Berry, The Courier, 25 August 2010

A planned housing development in the picturesque conservation village of Kingsbarns is "disjointed" and will not meet Scottish Government objectives.

This comment has come from a Fife Council planner in relation to an application from Cambo Estate for development which would mark the start of a considerable increase in the size and population of the community.

The estate wants to build 22 houses - 12 of them "affordable" - on a site south of Station Road and the work would also include formation of an access, creation of public open space and landscaping, and demolition of an agricultural building.

Ten of the affordable houses would be coming through the Scottish Government's Rural Homes for Rent scheme and the other two funded by the estate.

The application for full planning consent has been submitted in conjunction with an application in principle for a further 18 "open market" homes to the north of Station Road.

However, the plans - and the intention of the estate to create an even larger development in the long term - have run into substantial local opposition and there has been a strong objection from the community council.

Now planner Jenny Racionzer has said in a letter to agents Montgomery Forgan Associates that she is sorry that she is "unable to be more positive" about the proposal at the moment.

She said it does not address the six qualities suggested for successful places and there is no analysis or discussion on how it would it connect to the village.

Confusing

Ms Racionzer added that the layout appears to be suburban in nature and detached from Kingsbarns and there is a confusing relationship in the positioning of housing. The council has to consider future aspirations to develop the opposing site and there should be regard for focal points.

In relation to other issues she said that Scottish Water has highlighted a possible requirement for work to be carried out to ensure no loss of service to existing customers.

It was also said that there is limited capacity in the Kingsbarns wastewater treatment works to serve new demand and there should be discussions between the developer and Scottish Water.

In terms of flooding Ms Racionzer said there had been several incidents on the site, generally caused by flow from higher ground to the west.

She said that insufficient information had been supplied for the proposal to be properly assessed and flood risk assessments would be required for the site and the land opposite.

The community council has said that the application is the first phase of a 66-house proposal from the landowner.

It has pointed out that Kingsbarns was one of the first conservation areas to be designated in Scotland and householders are restricted in what they can do with their properties.

Members also said that the development brief was not submitted for their approval and contains factually inaccurate statements.

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