THERE'S neigh chance of Fife Council allowing a new house to be built on a paddock used by grazing horses.

They've refused a planning application from Brian Abel who wanted to develop agricultural land to the north of Lady Helen Cottages in Dundonald.

The paddock is around 1,400 square metres in size but the council said his proposals for a three-bedroom, single storey house on the plot would amount to "unjustified" development in the countryside.

READ MORE: Plans for new home on site of fire-hit scout hut are refused

Mr Abel's planning agents, AGC Design Services, had explained: "The owners of the site and applicant operate the equestrian centre present on the site and adjoining land.

Central Fife Times: The paddock to the north of Lady Helen Cottages, south of Dundonald. The paddock to the north of Lady Helen Cottages, south of Dundonald. (Image: Google Maps)

"The current residential property at Lady Helen Cottages has outgrown the the applicant's family requirements with their siblings having grown up and left the family home.

"The proposed development will allow the applicant to downsize while remaining local to the essential daily operation of the equestrian park."

As well as the house the application for planning permission in principle included a new access driveway, garage and landscaping on what was described as a "large area of under-utilised ground".

READ MORE: Tributes paid to community stalwart who has passed away at the age of 60

A previous application was withdrawn in January.

However a report by the council's planning case officer said "the fact that a business is established in a rural area is not enough to justify building a house in the countryside."

It also noted that the site was in an "an area of former coal working notified to the planning authority as high risk for development purposes".

The report concluded: "Taking into account that the only justification put forward for the house here is downsizing and not functional need, that the applicant appears to have successfully operated the equestrian centre from their existing accommodation in the hamlet, and that there will be a variety of alternative accommodation options near to the centre arising over time, an additional house here in the open countryside is not essential in support of the equestrian centre and therefore not supported."