A SCOTTISH Government reporter will decide if a plan for affordable housing in Inverkeithing can go ahead.

Kingdom Housing Association want to build 16 houses at Whinnyhill, next to Manse Road, but their proposals were knocked back by Fife Council in October.

They said the plans would result in the loss of a well-used open space and councillors felt a cramped and claustrophobic environment would be created by enclosing both sides of the street with buildings.

Yolanda Hilton, who lives in Manse Road, said: “The playpark is the only green belt in the whole of that northern part of Inverkeithing. The kids haven’t got anywhere else to play.

"They have said in their plans that there would be a part of a play park left but if you look at the plans, that would be a lot smaller than what they have.”

Kingdom have now appealed the decision and a site visit by a government reporter took place last month.

Kingdom said: “It is the association’s view that Fife Council has paid insufficient regard to the advice of its professional officers in determining to refuse consent. The decision was taken without a vote and was not merited by a sound and objective assessment of relevant planning considerations.”

Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor David Barratt said local residents were strongly opposed to the plans and some were in attendance when the site visit took place.

“The community wanted to show what their feelings are,” he said. “The reporter would just be one step Kingdom Housing would need to get through. They would still need to agree with Fife Council to dispose of the play park. The council could overrule us but local councillors will be standing strong on not getting rid of the play park.”

Local residents told the Press last year the new housing would cause traffic headaches and they were worried about losing a popular play park and grass area.

At that time, Kingdom chief executive Bill Banks said the proposals would provide high quality, affordable housing.

He said they were developed on feedback from the community and centred around a new play area and enhanced public space, designed to create safe street spaces for pedestrians.