A DECISION is expected soon on whether 80 new homes can be built on farmland to the east of Kingseat.

The Scottish Government reporter undertook a site visit last month and "is now working on her decision notice" after an appeal was submitted.

It's almost two years since Gladman Developments Ltd tabled plans in July 2019 to develop seven hectares either side of Cuddyhouse Road.

The 80 new dwellings would include 30 affordable homes and a new roundabout, play area, paths and cycleways, open space and a community woodland are proposed.

The development would also extend the boundary of Kingseat east towards Cowdenbeath, one of the concerns raised in the 44 objections by members of the public.

A Fife Council report said the homes were not needed – they said a five-year forecast showed a "surplus" in the area – and the central and west planning committee refused the application in June last year.

It was felt that locals would be faced with “unacceptable levels” of noise and the development would affect the “visual and landscape character” of the village, which has already been extended to the west.

However, the Livingston-based company submitted an appeal to the Scottish Government in September and have been left waiting since then for a decision.

Gladman said the council's decision to refuse was "not justified" and the development would provide "much-needed housing" for Kingseat.

Asked for an update this week, the Press was told that reporter Lorna McCallum had visited the site and a decision is anticipated soon.

The pandemic and lockdown have delayed the process but the main argument is between the council believing there are already enough new homes planned for the area and the company stating there aren't.

Officers pointed to an estimate that showed a surplus of 1,320 homes for the area between 2019 and 2024, but the figures were taken from the South East Scotland Plan (SESplan 2) which was rejected by Scottish ministers.

It included a major reduction in the projected number of homes needed in the Kingdom but was refused due to the lack of a proper transport assessment.

The council said the housing target figures should still be used as "the rejection letter raised no concerns” about them.

Gladman said that, as SESplan 2 has been rejected, the "housing land supply position reverts back to the council’s previous position ... wherein a clear and significant shortfall in the five-year supply of effective housing land is acknowledged."

They accused the council of "inconsistency" and referenced recent appeal decisions in Crossford and Aberdour, where the council's refusal to grant planning permission for new homes was overturned and in both cases "the reporters concluded that there was a shortfall".