FAMILIES in Aberdour and Crossford are “scunnered” with planning decisions which will see more homes built in their villages.

Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor David Coleman made the claim while debating a motion which had asked the Scottish Government to call in two planning appeal decisions affecting residents in both places.

“They have gone through hell basically,” said Cllr Coleman at Thursday’s full Fife Council meeting.

“Applications – particularly in Aberdour – have come from all sides. They have been rejected then, lo and behold, the reporter makes a decision that permits a development that breaches local plan policies.”

Cllr Coleman seconded the motion by fellow Conservative David Dempsey which also asked for the Scottish Government to speed up the process of getting the SES Plan 2, which will dictate how many homes are to be built in the area and is likely to see a reduction in the number of properties required to be built compared to the previous guidelines.

“The minister, when asked for a timescale for completion of SES Plan 2, couldn’t give one. That is unacceptable,” added Cllr Coleman.

“Crossford and Aberdour have suffered. How many other small villages in Fife have a development looming over them? This needs to be actioned and actioned quickly.

“In the West planning committee in the last few months, we have granted approval around the Dunfermline area, not to decimate small villages, but around Dunfermline, for over 4,200 houses. That is about 37 per cent of SES Plan 2. We urge the leaders to write to the Scottish minister to get this bill passed quickly.”

Cllr Dempsey told fellow councillors: “When they went through the Scottish Government process, they said you can put houses on the bits marked suitable for housing but you can put them everywhere else as well.

"These two planning decisions have brought this to prominence. In both cases, this council decided that these sites were not appropriate for housing and the Fife Plan says that. 

“This council decided, through its planning committee, that the planning applications were not appropriate and they were refused.

"In each case, a single individual, an unelected, unaccountable Scottish Government reporter, overruled that. 

“The reporter in Aberdour’s case said he could not take SES Plan 2 into account as the minister might reject it.

"We are sitting in a position where this one individual cannot take advantage of the most up-to-date figures because they have been sitting on the minister’s desk for the larger part of a year and he is yet to say yes or no and this seems to be fundamentally wrong.”

An amendment to the Conservative motion, submitted by SNP councillor John Beare, was voted through by councillors.

It stated: “The council notes the recent decision by the Scottish Government reporter to grant appeals against the council’s refusal for planning permission for sites in Crossford and Aberdour and that it would be possible for the minister to call them in.

“The second point is that the council further notes that the SES Plan 2 has been with the Scottish Government minister for some time and asks the co-leaders to write to the minister to request that the minister concludes the examination of SES Plan 2 as quickly as possible.”