Snobs 'badge of honour' for angry villagers in MP row
Published 3 Feb 2012 08:21 11 Comments
COMMUNITY leaders dismissed as "snobs" and "NIMBYs" by Thomas Docherty have hit back at the Labour MP.
The Charlestown, Limekilns and Pattiesmuir Community Council said the Dunfermline and West Fife MP was talking "nonsense".
And they insisted that if arguing for better homes and communities meant they were snobs "then we will embrace that label as a badge of honour".
The war of words broke out over Fife Council's plans for around 4000 houses to the south-west, west and north of Dunfermline, with the community council raising concerns about development in their area.
And their grim assessment of Dunfermline's Eastern Expansion (DEX) - they called it "ugly", "architecturally dire", "disastrous" and "uninspiring" - angered Mr Docherty.
In last week's Press he said, "They are a bunch of snobs who oppose every single development in West Fife.
"This disgraceful slur on the residents of Duloch and Masterton is the latest in a long line of whines.
"They have opposed the container freight terminal (in Rosyth) and these people really are pathetic the way they sit on high and slag off the rest of West Fife."
But in a written response the community council stated, "The plans to build approximately 2000 homes south-west of Dunfermline would put considerable strain on the A985 junctions that are already near capacity.
"Furthermore, the intention to provide new infrastructure only after 789 houses have been built and 32.8 hectares of employment land developed, causes us considerable concern.
"This would put tremendous pressure on Grange Road, Brankholm Brae and Primrose Lane in Rosyth.
"Although we understand this proposed development is likely to be approved, we will continue to challenge these planned delays to road improvement."
And it continued, "To suggest that criticising the architecture of the eastern expansion is also a slur on the residents who live there is clearly nonsense.
"The residents are not responsible for developing the infrastructure and services of the area nor are they responsible for the housing density and areas of public open space.
"Our criticisms were directed toward Fife Council's strategy for delivering their masterplan for the area.
"If pushing for inspiring, well thought-out communities for local people makes us snobs, then we will embrace that label as a badge of honour."
They said there were several proposals affecting communities along the A985 and the community council had "not objected to all of these, as Mr Docherty claimed" but had engaged with developers and valued the chance to speak with them.
The community council said Scottish Government reporters were looking at farmland south of the A985 for business and housing developments.
And they warned, "This could see the whole area between Brankholm Lane and Windylaw Edge developed, causing increased traffic volumes along the A985 and Hilton Road into Rosyth and coalescence of settlements across the whole of West Fife."
The community council said they were "confused by the rationale for Mr Docherty's comments about the unrelated container terminal proposal".
And continued, "He claims the community council is 'moaning' about this proposal - we're doing a whole lot more than moaning.
"The community council working group is giving evidence and cross-examining Babcock's plans daily at the six-week public inquiry.
"We do this on behalf of every taxpayer who may pay a very high price for the few jobs it could create if it were to go ahead.
"If approved, it could badly affect the coastal areas along the Forth in many ways and could also create 900 daily HGV movements in and out of the dockyard."
And they added, "We are disappointed that, as someone who was appointed to represent local people through the democratic process, Mr Docherty has expressed such strong opinions without ever raising the matters with us.
"As a community council we will continue to address the issues that affect our community.
"It's what community councils are for.
"Failure to do so would be a dereliction of our duty and a display of apathy and neglect - something we have no intention of doing."
Have your say. Post a comment on this article.
Feb 3, 08:40
Who in their right mind wants to be labbelled "snob" or "NIMBY"?
Pretentious donkey-holes who think that they are above the rest... I come from a good bavkground and am not too shabby myself but dear lord these people need to seek refuge from a tree surgeon to remove the stick.
The majority of these people have come from working class backgrounds who think becasue they have made a decent living that they can act like royalty... nonsense!
Recommend? Yes 20 No 20
Feb 3, 10:39
Feb 3, 15:31
There are a lot of really nice houses at Duloch & im quite sure the vast majority of residents there are more than happy with their homes, the infrastructure & the facilities.
I do think however that Fife Council have an excellent opportunity to do something a little differant in this newly proposed expansion.
Im thinking along the lines of eco friendly housing with first class infrastructure, the expansion would obviousley be done over a number of years, so getting it right from the start would obviousley make sense.
I also think that the house builders should be duty bound to use local labour if available, this surely makes sense as there are a lot of first class tradesmen in the area doing very little at the moment.
I do not agree with the Commnity Council opposing the Container Terminal, any new jobs is good news & you just have to look at the Port of Rotterdam as an example.
Recommend? Yes 20 No 4
Feb 3, 22:38
Yes i quiet agree with the mp there are quiet a few snobs in the village who dont seem to want change of any kind inside or outside the village unless they have originaly thought of the ideas themselves.
Recommend? Yes 11 No 12
Feb 4, 19:28
Feb 5, 09:17
@ LimekilnsResident - quite right. Limekilns and the other villages should be kept separate. The CC needs to check Fife Council's communist great leap forward plans. The clear policy should be to build up on brown and gap sites within Dunfermline, Rosyth and Inverkeithing. Dalgety Bay can also be extended. We need to keep some countryside.
Recommend? Yes 15 No 11
Feb 6, 01:32
If Grangemouth container port is working at a third of its' capacity, would there be any work for the Rosyth one? The cost of doing up the railway is £7 million, and the money would come out of tax payers' pocket. Docherty is plainly after votes, and if he represents the community, why did he not speak with them before going to the press? The man is a plain idiot. If they don't like the way the Western Expansion has been done, would they really blame it on the people who live there rather than the planners??
Recommend? Yes 8 No 4
Feb 7, 16:49
Remembering, everyone has (so they say) basic human rights. The disturbing issue I have with Mr Docherty is that he (in my opinion) as the elected member of Westminster abused the Members "Code of Conduct" how stupid to start calling names to people and the communities who perhaps voted him into office.
It's my reckoning he has lost more votes than he has gained on this issue. He has done a great injustice to the office he holds within Government and he should be ashamed of himself for not understanding the situation about to unfold if Babcock get their way with this Container Port. But then again as Mr Docherty very well knows their only interest is the acquiring a "Harbour Revision Order" then they can do anything virtually they like without planning consent. Its not that he (Docherty) does not know this, I can only assume
Mr Docherty does not understand the situation about to unfold in his area.
Recommend? Yes 8 No 2
Feb 10, 14:55
Feb 12, 20:42
Feb 27, 01:03
Please do not tar us all with the same brush.The Community Council does not represent the views of everyone Limekilns, Charlestown and Pattesmuir. It represents the views only of those who manage to get excited about things that the majority neither oppose or champion and in fact, feel has little to do with what actually goes on in the villages. There's a lot of good people just going about their own business and living their own lives and not succumbing to campaigning against anything and everything within a 20 mile radius just to have something to fill our lives
Recommend? Yes 1 No 0