DUNFERMLINE residents are rallying against plans to turn the former Hillpark House site into a block of flats.

The historic Victorian house on Townhill Road was demolished earlier this year, prompting nearby residents to begin a campaign to save the site from overdevelopment.

An application for ten flats on the plot, just a few years after a similar application was turned down by Fife councillors and the Scottish Government, has meant that concerned neighbours have banded together to create a group objecting to the proposal.

The application by developer McCallan Homes for two blocks of flats, two-and-a-half storeys tall, and twenty car parking spaces, has been labelled entirely out-of-keeping by concerned residents and Bellyeoman Community Council. In total, there have been more than 80 individual objections by worried locals.

Residents are gravely concerned with the proposed height, scale, mass and type of construction method to be used, as well as the number of cars the development will impose on the surrounding area.

They are also concerned about the impact that 20 wheelie bins sitting on Townhill Road on collection day will have on the safety of pedestrians and road users.

A spokesperson for the residents group, Keith Omond, said, “The majority of people living in the area are supportive of the planning permission in principle for two houses, even though we were disappointed that Hillpark House would be demolished to make way for them.

“However, the sudden demolition and clearance of all the mature woodland at the start of this year was quickly followed by a new application for two very large three-storey prefabricated type flats with balconies.

"We were obviously appalled and felt we needed to stand up for the rights of the local neighbourhood and, in particular, preserve the character of the area.”

He added, “We’ve gathered considerable support from our community council, as well as our local MSP Cara Hilton, and while we’re bitterly disappointed that the Fife planning department has supported this application, we’re willing to keep on campaigning for common sense to prevail at the west planning committee, which sits on September 23.”

The group, which consists of people from Townhill Road, Methven Drive, Christie Street and Bellyeoman Road is also of the view that any development should be sympathetic and in-keeping with the surrounding homes which are either single storey bungalows or two-storey villas.

“We’re just worried that the developer is looking to cram as many flats as they can into a small space, rather than building homes that will complement an historic part of Dunfermline where the majority of the houses have been around more than 100 years," added Mr Omond.

The application is due to go before the west planning committee next Wednesday.