Council accused of ‘steamrolling’ plans for industrial units
Concerned local residents claim no support for proposal
Fife Council has been accused of failing to listen to the community over plans to put industrial units on a much-loved green space in the middle of the town.
The Rushes, between Glebe Road and the A977, has been chosen as the preferred site for seven units forming part of the local authority’s response to the closure of Longannet.
Kincardine’s opposition to the plan is being supported by Dunfermline and West Fife MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville.
Locals believe that the community’s five-year plan has been disregarded by council officials, claiming they have not consulted them on the location of the business units, or asked the community what it thinks the Rushes should be used for.
Concerned locals can oppose the council’s proposals at the planning stage of the process but fear that the council’s failure to listen to the community to date demonstrated a lack of willingness to look for alternative sites for the units.
Resident Donald Campbell said there was widespread local opposition.
“Having spoken to many Kincardine residents about the council’s proposal, it’s fair to say that there’s no support for the Rushes being used for industrial units.
“We have a five-year community plan, and instead of consulting with us, the council are effectively steamrolling us.
“All that we want is to have a say on the future use of the Rushes.
“After all, it’s local residents who live and work in Kincardine who know best what the village needs.”
Ms Somerville said: “It’s deeply disappointing that the council have made this proposal without consulting with Kincardine residents.
“It seems to me that the council made this move with little or no regard to what local people think, which is not exactly democratic – and it’s downright unfair.
“There has been a severe lack of engagement with the community.”
Strategic planning chairman Altany Craik said the council was working hard to revitalise the local economy and create new business opportunities.
He added: “Officers met with Kincardine community council at an early stage to discuss potential proposals, and following those discussions the designs include retaining and enhancing a large remaining area of open greenspace on the site for use by the community.
“Residents will have every opportunity to express their views on the proposal and highlight any concerns through the planning process.”
It seems to me that the council made this move with little or no regard to what local people think. MSP SHIRLEY-ANNE SOMERVILLE