A SCOTTISH Government reporter has rejected a plan for affordable housing in Inverkeithing. 

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

The social housing provider appealed the decision and a site visit by a government reporter took place last month.

Councillors voted unanimously against the proposals last October even though planning officials recommended it for approval. 

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.

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

"I am sure the community will be very pleased with this news," he told the Press.

"They have had this hanging over their heads since last May. 

"Nobody was in favour and we even had kids come with signs to campaign because they didn't want their playpark taken away. 

"We were a little bit concerned they would take the view of the officers, so it's a great success!"

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

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

The final conclusions of the Scottish Government reporter stated: "I find that the appeal proposal would be contrary to the key provisions of the development plan which seek to retain existing open space and that it would potentially exacerbate road congestion and car-parking problems in the vicinity. 

"Although the proposal would provide affordable housing in an area where there is a recognised need, I do not consider that this undoubted benefit of the scheme outweighs the substantial shortcomings of the proposal which I have identified above.

"Overall, I therefore conclude, for the reasons set out above, that the proposed development does not accord overall with the relevant provisions of the development plan and that there are no material considerations which would still justify granting planning permission."

Councillor Alice McGarry said: "This is great news for the community. 

"Transport is a nightmare there and people struggle to get parked. The reporter could see the congestion very clearly on the day they came. 

"The decision would have also resulted in the loss of a playpark and this is a part of Inverkeithing that isn't close to the town centre so needs a place where kids can go."

A spokesperson from Kingdom Housing Association said: "We are disappointed but we note the reporter’s decision. 

"Our primary focus is to provide affordable housing to Fife and we'll continue to keep our eye on the bigger picture."