Coun­cil ac­cused of ‘steam­rolling’ plans for in­dus­trial units

Con­cerned lo­cal res­i­dents claim no sup­port for pro­posal

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Leeza clark leclark@the­courier.co.uk

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

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