Dunfermline Press

Forgetful council green-lights significan­t Rosyth investment

- Amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

Ally McRoberts

OFFICERS at Fife Council have agreed proposals for a “multimilli­on pound” developmen­t at Rosyth Waterfront but can’t seem to remember why land use was so restricted.

The admission comes after the Scarboroug­h Muir Group ( SMG) gained planning permission for a new warehouse and yard on a brownfield plot that’s lain vacant for 20 years, with approval set to “kickstart” the developmen­t of the wider site.

The firm explained: “The developmen­t would represent a significan­t multi- million pound investment in the Rosyth area which would help to secure a range of new local employment opportunit­ies.”

SMG said the plan for plot one, off Barham Way in Rosyth Europarc, was “speculativ­e” as it is for class six ( storage and distributi­on) use and, while it is identified as employment land and promises a “significan­t” number of new jobs, the council said only class 4 ( business) was allowed.

However, the local authority don’t appear to know why that is as a report by the planning team conceded: “In consultati­on with Fife Council’s policy and place team, it is unclear why the allocated site, which has been vacant since 2003, was to be restricted to class 4.”

It added that the local authority’s economic developmen­t team was also consulted and they too were “not aware” why proposed uses for the site were so limited.

The report said the “principle of developmen­t requires further considerat­ion in light of this potential allocation conflict”.

Despite this, SMG got the goahead for a 50,000 square foot warehouse on a 4.8 acre site, which will incorporat­e the new storage and distributi­on unit, offices and staff areas, new access, 47 parking spaces and an external yard, as well as landscapin­g and associated works.

The plot is part of the larger Queensferr­y One site, 120 acres of brownfield land in Rosyth which will be at the heart of the new Forth Green Freeport.

SMG pointed out that class 6 use had previously been allowed on the site and said: “The applicatio­n proposals, whilst not a class 4 use, would quite clearly deliver a significan­t new employment use on the site.”

Back in October, when the applicatio­n was submitted, the “final occupier of the unit” was not known but the firm said they were in discussion­s with a number of interested parties.

In a report confirming that the plans had been approved, the council said: “The applicant has submitted marketing informatio­n which details that the site has been marketed for class 4 uses for a period in excess of 10 years, with no interest coming forward.

“The marketing report also confirms that whilst this applicatio­n has been made on a speculativ­e basis, there is currently demand for large class 6 properties within the central belt.”

It added that the proposed class 6 use would be “appropriat­e” and agreed with the applicant that it would “likely kickstart the redevelopm­ent of the wider area”.

Land use has been a particular­ly thorny issue for SMG as their longheld ambitions for a mixed- use developmen­t at Rosyth Waterfront - they first tabled plans in 2006 - were blocked by the council who refused to rezone the site.

Back in 2014 they unveiled £ 500m plans for one of Scotland’s largest urban regenerati­on schemes in an area spanning more than 130 acres, which they said would create up to 3,500 jobs.

The proposals included a business and employment park, hotel, a commercial zone, supermarke­t, leisure centre, restaurant­s, large stores, shops, cafes, bars, galleries, housing, walkway, woodland areas and waterfront gardens.

However in late 2016 during consultati­on on the council’s new local developmen­t plan, which decides what can be built and where, the Scottish Government reporter recommende­d the land should not be changed to mixed use and should be kept as employment land only, leaving local councillor Mike Shirkie “incandesce­nt with anger”.

 ?? ??
 ?? ?? The Scarboroug­h Muir Group have been given the go-ahead for a ‘multimilli­on pound investment’ on land they own at the waterfront.
The Scarboroug­h Muir Group have been given the go-ahead for a ‘multimilli­on pound investment’ on land they own at the waterfront.
 ?? ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom