CROSSFORD Community Council will hold an emergency meeting on Monday to discuss plans for 200 new homes to the west of the village.

Residents had voiced a range of concerns about the proposed development, including flooding risks, loss of green space and an increase in traffic, with 139 letters of objection submitted.

Fife Council rejected proposals from the Stewart Milne Group to build on land south of Pitconnochie Farm in September last year but the company appealed and in March the Scottish Government reporter said he was minded to approve.

Doug Hay, chair of the community council, said locals should have the chance to challenge the decision and added: "With the recent rejection of SESplan2 by the Scottish Government, the myth of insufficient housing land supply in West Fife is allowed to continue."

He added: "On at least four occasions over the past 25 years, reporters have found against the development of the Pitconnochie site. The latest examination in 2016 concluded that 'the site should not be allocated for residential development'.

"Contrary to evidence available, Mr Huntley (the reporter) has decided that there isn't sufficient housing land supply in Fife, and gives this as a reason to approve the development in the countryside on agricultural land.

"The decision is against Fife Council's local development plan, a plan that has been worked on by all stakeholders for the past five years.

"Where is the local democracy in such a decision? The wishes of the local community have been swept aside with a very questionable decision.

"The local community should have the right to appeal the reporter's decision."

A final decision has yet to be made but Mr Huntley's notice of intention made it clear that the plans are set to be approved.

The community's arguments won't have been helped by the rejection by Scottish ministers last week of SESplan2, the Edinburgh City Region Strategic Development Plan which maps out future development in the capital and surrounding areas, including Fife.

Whereas the original SESplan, which councils must currently adhere to, said that Fife needed 24,500 new homes between 2018 and 2030, it was expected to be replaced by now with a new version that cut that number to 11,444.

However, Scottish Government reporters have dismissed the proposed housing numbers in SESplan2, as it had not been approved, dashing the hopes of objectors to proposals in Crossford, Aberdour and Dunfermline who said there was no need to build new homes.

Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville said: "Members of the local community are incredibly frustrated about these proposals.

"Plans have been brought forward multiple times and at each stage have been opposed by local residents.

"This is a clear example of the planning system not working.

"The new Planning Bill, which is currently passing through the Scottish Parliament, is designed to address issues such as these. But this won't be of much reassurance to the communities being affected here and now.

"It's now essential that people in Crossford make sure that their voices are heard. I would encourage everyone to come along to the meeting and have their say."

The meeting starts at 7.30pm in Crossford Village Hall.

A letter from chief planner John McNairney said that ministers were not satisfied with the transport appraisal in SESplan2 and that concerns had been "repeatedly raised by the Scottish Government" and "not adequately addressed".

He added there were issues with land use and the plan "does not properly acknowledge and address the region's infrastructure constraints to support the spatial strategy for delivering housing land across the area".

Pam Ewen, interim chief planning officer, said: “This is very disappointing news for Fife as a huge amount of work has gone into preparing the plan and it has taken a considerable amount of time for the ministers to reach this decision, following an independent examination.

“We now need to review the reasons given for rejection and the implications. We will continue to work with SESplan member authorities as we consider our next steps.”