Plans approved for Aberdour housing development on appeal

Plans approved for Aberdour housing development on appeal

Scottish Government reporter has overturned a decision by Fife Council to reject plans to build 125 homes in Aberdour.

The local authority rejected a proposal by Hillside School’s to develop its site off Main Street after the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) raised objections on the grounds that it had the potential to place buildings and residents at risk of flood.

In October, a Fife Council planner told the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) that it was “clearly evident” exceptional storms in August this year had demonstrated the site was at risk of flooding.

The planner said: “The fact remains that the appellant has failed to submit sufficient information in order to demonstrate that the proposed development would not increase flooding or flood risk on the site or elsewhere.”

Nevertheless, a submission on behalf of Hillside School by engineering consultants said mitigation measures proposed by the developer would “remove this flood risk from the village and is a significant planning gain”.

However, a Scottish Government reporter has overturned the decision, subject to an agreement over planning obligations.

Hillside School wishes to develop the grounds to fund a newbuild school near the existing site.

The owners of the school, which offers residential support to boys with behavioural difficulties, have said the existing accommodation is out-dated and unfit for purpose.

The proposal is the second development in Aberdour to be approved in recent months by a Scottish Government reporter having been thrown out by councillors.

Aberdour Community Council has called for planning minister Kevin Stewart to investigate the case.

Local councillor David Barratt told The Courier: “My main feeling is one of dismay. Some will no doubt try to characterise the outrage around this decision as nimbyism, but nothing could be further from the truth.

“The application was refused by Fife Council for failing to provide sufficient information and for outstanding objections on flooding grounds from both Sepa and the council’s flood team.”

He added: “I’m shocked that the concerns of flood team and those of Sepa have been ignored and I agree with the calls for Kevin Stewart MSP to intervene.

“The community are understandably angry and the developer appears to have got away with playing the system.”

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