FAMILIES in Crossford were left stunned after the Stewart Milne Group installed around 20 cameras in the village without their knowledge.

For years, the housing developer has sought permission to build 200 homes on land south of Pitconnochie Farm in the village.

And, during two public exhibitions in August and September, the group told residents about the proposals and stated they would be open with any developments going forward.

However, locals were left “shocked” and “upset” when they discovered approximately 20 cameras had been installed within the village at various locations to monitor traffic activity as they get set to lodge fresh plans for the land on Lundin Road.

It is believed the cameras were put in place for four days in mid-October at Main Street, Dean Drive, Knockhouse Road and Waggon Road.

Joyce Matson, chair of Crossford Community Council, told the Press that the placing of the cameras by developers had done nothing to win over locals.

“They held consultations with residents and said they would be open with people and not hide anything from them,” she said.

“They said that, then they quietly – and sneakily – installed cameras around the village to monitor traffic activity.

“We (Crossford Community Council) didn’t know anything about that.

“We’re upset about the whole thing.

“They said they would answer our questions and they would be an open company.

“To then do this, it’s very contradictory.”

One local, John Owen, originally believed they were police cameras.

“I was very surprised to hear they were put in by Stewart Milne Group,” he said.

“If they had said that they were going to be used to monitor traffic, that would’ve been fine. At least we would’ve known about it.

“In this case, however, we weren’t told at all. The community police at the recent Crossford Community Council meeting didn’t even know.”

A spokesperson for Stewart Milne Homes, said: “We can confirm that the cameras installed were required as part of a traffic count survey for an upcoming planning application, and with the full knowledge of Fife Council. As we move forward, we will continue to work in consultation and partnership with the community and keep them appraised of any developments.”

Residents in the village have opposed development on the site since it was put forward, due to fears Crossford could merge with Cairneyhill and other issues including traffic, access and drainage.

The site has been rejected for development in the past as it had not been earmarked by FifePlan.