Call for Cupar North plan to be ‘reconsidered’

Plans for Cupar North were lodged in 2015.
Plans for Cupar North were lodged in 2015.
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The Cupar North masterplan should be ‘reconsidered’ when Fife’s local development plan is reviewed, according to a local councillor.

Cllr Margaret Kennedy says that ‘stagnation’ with the plan, which would see around 1400 houses built on the site, means it should be reviewed. She believes this would allow consideration for the development of alternative sites to progress.

Plans were first mooted for Cupar North in 2005, and the planning application for the site was submitted in late 2015.

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Cllr Kennedy said residents had been caused a “lot of unnecessary uncertainty” because of the length of time the area had been under consideration.

She added: “One of the major challenges faced by councils is a lack of clarity about how to proceed in the case of non-delivery or no clear way forward.

“Given the likelihood that the FIFEplan is going to be reviewed, and the process will have to start from scratch, I feel strongly that the Cupar North expansion is no longer competent given the current situation.

“In fact I am aware that the developer consortium has been asked to review the masterplan once again. Planning officials should follow through on what has been previously stated and provide clarity for residents as many are still very concerned about any prospect of further delay to the current thinking.”

Pam Ewen, chief officer - planning at Fife Council, said: “The intention is to review the Local Development Plan, however we have not set a date for commencing a review.

“As part of that review, as is normal, we will re-assess development sites which do not have planning consent.”

Fife Council said there are a number of assessments which the applicant requires to update and submit for the planning authority to assess the application and that large strategic development sites do take some time to be assessed and planning determined.

The most recent update on the plans came last month, when a report from Fife Council’s Education and Children’s Services concluded that Castlehill Primary School would have to be expanded and a new primary school constructed to deal with an increase in pupils. It recommends that a gym hall be built at Castlehill PS by 2024, followed by a new half-stream primary school by August 2020 – that would then be extended into a full-stream primary school by August 2037.