Housing to go ahead after appeal upheld
Controversial plans were rejected in 2015
Hundreds of homes are to be built at the controversial Spencerfield site in Inverkeithing – but without the health and education contributions included in previous plans.
Taylor Wimpey has said it will hand over around £580,000 towards road improvements as part of its approval for 295 homes on farmland between Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay.
A quarter of the homes will be affordable housing.
However, pledges to build a GP practice and make money available for school places are no longer on the table.
Councillors on Fife’s west planning committee previously refused the plans in 2015 but had no choice other than to approve them last week, after Taylor Wimpey’s appeal against the initial decision was upheld.
The firm appealed to the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) twice in its bid to build on the site.
A previous application for 450 homes dating back to 2013 came with a pledge to include a GP practice and contribute towards the regeneration of Fraser Avenue. The report to the committee in 2013 also contained a requirement for an education contribution of £2,400 for each private house built and £1,200 for each private flat.
Councillors threw out the plans, which were subject to more than 250 objections, and a subsequent appeal by Taylor Wimpey was thrown out by the DPEA.
The housebuilder made a claim for Fife Council to cover its expenses but this too was knocked back by the DPEA.
In 2015 councillors tried again to prevent Taylor Wimpey from building on the site, which will reduce the distance between the settlements of Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay to less than half a mile.
Their refusal of the scaled down plans, with no mention of a GP surgery or contributions to either education or Fraser Avenue, was later overturned by a government reporter.
Pauline Mills, land and planning director for Taylor Wimpey East Scotland, said: “We are delighted that the west planning committee at Fife Council approved the application for our Spencerfield, Inverkeithing development.
“Our detailed proposal for Spencerfield in Inverkeithing will deliver 295 new homes, of which 25% will be affordable, allowing us to make sure there will be a wide mix of styles to appeal to a range of buyers, as well as a range of tenures.
“Our development will also provide a range of economic benefits for the local area including the creation of several hundred new jobs, and it will attract new customers to local businesses.
“In line with our legal agreement with Fife Council we will also make contributions towards a fund for wider strategic transportation improvements, as well as local traffic improvements and upgrades as necessitated by our development.”
Our detailed proposal for Spencerfield will deliver 295 new homes, of which 25% will be affordable, allowing us to make sure there will be a wide mix of styles. PAULINE MILLS OF TAYLOR WIMPEY
Former Fife Council spokeswoman for economy and planning Lesley Laird and John McKenzie of Inverkeithing Community Council at the Spencerfield site in 2016.