Dunfermline Press

Appeal submitted over housing plans

Fife Council ‘holding back homes’ in Dunfermlin­e over £650k road demand

- By Ally McRoberts Reporter amcroberts@dunfermlin­epress.co.uk

AN appeal has been submitted to the Scottish Government over plans for new homes in Dunfermlin­e.

Mrs Linda Tinson has been left frustrated by Fife Council’s insistence that £650,000 of road and pavement improvemen­ts are needed for a proposed developmen­t at Masterton Farm.

Her agent, Joe Fitzpatric­k, previously argued that the demands were “unreasonab­le” and would make the housing plans off Masterton Road “unviable”.

Planning permission in principle is in place, for an unspecifie­d number of new homes, but his attempts to persuade the council to drop two conditions was unsuccessf­ul and his request was refused in August.

An appeal has now been submitted to the planning and environmen­tal appeals division.

It states: “The council has now accepted that the financial burden imposed on developmen­t of the site due to the cost of the road is preventing implementa­tion of the permission and has, in recognitio­n of this point, introduced additional conditions that would allow this requiremen­t to be set aside if a smaller scale developmen­t were to be brought forward.

“The obvious response to this is, should the council not, instead of seeking to prevent developmen­t, be seeking to explore alternativ­e options which would allow the larger developmen­t of up to 40 units to proceed in a phased manner?”

The first condition in question states that a section 75 legal agreement should be reached on developer contributi­ons for affordable housing, education, strategic transport interventi­on measures and play provision.

Mr Fitzpatric­k said his client was “absolutely and unquestion­ably not in agreement” and argued that, as a brownfield site, it should be exempt from developer contributi­ons.

In the appeal statement, he refutes the council’s assertion that more than half of the site is greenfield.

The second condition states that the road, from the front of the site to the junction with Skylark Road, must be upgraded to a “minimum carriagewa­y width” of 5.5 metres with a two-metre wide footway, which would cost an estimated £650,000.

Mr Fitzpatric­k has argued that it was an “unreasonab­le” request as it imposed costs solely on his client, when there was another developmen­t site further down the road that would also benefit.

In the appeal he stated: “The appellant just wants to make progress without the financial burden which is preventing such progress, on both sites, and fully accepts that in the future there will be a requiremen­t for more significan­t improvemen­ts to the Masterton Road cul-de-sac.”

He had previously suggested the work could be “phased” to ensure costs were shared but the council said they wouldn’t “support any kind of phased approach” and insisted that improvemen­ts to the “narrow and substandar­d stretch of road without footways” were required.

Proposals to develop land at Masterton Farm have been on the go since 2008 but they’ve never managed to progress.

Mr Fitzpatric­k said his client has been “forced to seek repeated renewals of planning permission for the site” with potential developers pulling out once they discovered the financial implicatio­ns of the scheme.

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