PRESSURE on the school roll at Kelty Primary means that work to build 900 new homes in the village cannot start until 2021.

I&H Brown got the go-ahead for the multi-million pound development at Cocklaw Street, next to the M90 motorway, earlier this month but not one house brick can be laid for three years.

Fife Council insisted on the delayed start because of a capacity risk at the school, with the new homes set to increase the village's population by 25 per cent.

A report to the west planning committee explained: "Kelty Primary is currently over capacity and there is no significant available capacity within the school until 2022.

"Consequently the construction of residential units cannot start until 2021 on this site."

A new primary school will also be built as part of the development and the £11.2m cost will be met by I&H Brown.

In addition, the Perth firm have agreed to pay over £2m for transport improvements and offered £100,000 towards a new health centre – land has been set aside for it – but health facilities are not part of any agreement with the council.

The report said: "The delivery of healthcare facilities within the settlement is a matter for the NHS.

"They did not comment formally on this application but in previous correspondence outlined that there was no programme for additional facilities within Kelty."

The plans include 3.5 acres of employment land, green networks and open spaces, landscaping and tree planting, a new footpath and cycle network.

The site is 46 hectares of, mostly, farmland next to junction 4 and between Cocklaw Street and Oakfield Street.

The proposals are designed to create an "attractive western gateway to Kelty" and the work will be carried out in phases with the north west corner, including the employment land and new primary school, to be delivered first.

The report explained: "The new school would need to be operational by 2026 as at this point it is projected that there would be insufficient capacity at Kelty Primary for this development.

"The developer has agreed to construct a one stream primary school as required.

"This will likely be constructed in two phases with the first phase required by 2026 and the second phase in 2030 depending on build rates at that time.

"The school is being built at a size to accommodate the pupils generated from this development.

"Additional land has been included within the masterplan area however, to allow for future expansion should it ever be required."

It added: "The primary school has been positioned at the north of the site and this would be adjacent to an existing football ground, a church and the Roman Catholic primary school (St Joseph's PS) further to the east.

"Land is being reserved for a health centre to the west of the primary school. This would create a small cluster of community uses which seems logical.

"The school would directly serve the new community and while it would be the northern extreme of the site, it would be within walking distance of the full site.

"The school would also be separated from existing properties by an area of open space."

Grouting and ground stabilisation works are likely to be needed as the land was previously an open cast coal mine and was last worked in 1985.

It is within a "high risk" mining area.

Access to the new development will be from Cocklaw Street and Oakfield Street via the existing junctions.

A spokesperson for the company said: “I&H Brown welcome the committee decision to approve new homes, a primary school, community / leisure facilities and employment opportunities at Kelty.

"Site investigation and detailed design works will commence shortly.

"I&H Brown anticipate that construction onsite will commence in 2020/2021 and new homes will be available for occupation in 2021/2022. The primary school will be delivered in two phases, the timing and phasing of payments are yet to be agreed with the council.”