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Plan "does not have the support of the community ... aspect to the west should be retained by not developing this site"
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Council set to fight plan for houses in Kingsbarns

Cheryl Peebles, The Courier, 4 April 2011

Fife Council is to fight controversial plans for 40 new homes in a small East Neuk village.

Sir Peter Erskine has taken his bid to build houses on the western edge of Kingsbarns to the Scottish Government after the local authority failed to determine it on time.

Councillors on the north-east Fife area committee agreed planning permission should be opposed and that its position should be relayed to Scottish ministers.

A Scottish Government reporter has been charged with considering the planning application - which has attracted significant opposition from villagers - on behalf of ministers and will take into account the council's submission.

Sir Peter, of Cambo Estate, wants to build the houses on either side of Station Road.

His planning applications - one for the houses south of the road and the other for those north of it - were submitted more than a year ago.

The development would include 12 affordable homes, which have already been awarded a grant from the Scottish Government's Rural Homes for Rent fund.

Objectors, including the area's community council, fear the infrastructure and the primary school will be unable to cope with the influx of additional residents the scheme would bring.

The community council also said the houses would be outwith the village envelope, in a conservation area and area of great landscape value and on prime agricultural land.

In the emerging local plan, the council had allocated land in Kingsbarns for 40 homes but later reduced the number to 20.

East Neuk and Landward Councillor, Donald Macgregor, said, "The application does not have the support of the community, as stated at a November 2008 meeting between planners and development to be essential.

The Kingsbarns Community Council has consistently said the site is wrong.

"That position was unanimously supported by the north-east Fife area committee in August 2010 when we said the aspect to the west should be retained by not developing this site and allocating a maximum of 20 units on other sites within the settlement which should be identified through rural policies."

Among a series of other arguments against, he also said the land had serious flooding issues that would be difficult to obviate.

Sir Peter's agents, Montgomery Forgan Associates, have already told the reporter the new homes would help sustain the village.

The firm claimed Kingsbarns Primary School's roll would be boosted and the village shop, post office and local pub would benefit.

It also claimed the reduction in the local plan from 40 to 20 new homes in Kingsbarns was "not logical or thought through."

Highlighting the provision of affordable homes in the development, it pointed out that very few such homes had been built in the area in the last few years.

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