PLANS for 92 new homes next to Townhill Country Park have been rejected by Fife Council.

Glasgow developers MacTaggart and Mickel wanted to develop a site north of Kent Street in Dunfermline but councillors at the west planning committee said no.

Officers had recommended approval – and a legal agreement would have asked the housebuilder to pay more than £850,000 to the council – but members voted 6-2 to refuse permission due to overdevelopment and lack of green space.

Dunfermline North councillor Helen Law added: “I am very concerned at the interaction with the community council.

"It feels like their points were not taken seriously and there has been too many changes to the plans.

“At the end of the day we want to consult with the community and for them to feel like they are included.”

Her motion to refuse was backed by Cllr Ian Ferguson, who said: “The whole area, you just get this feeling that it has all been squashed in.”

The four-hectare site, between Kent Street and Townhill Road, is an area of grassland on the northern edge of Dunfermline, just outside Townhill, and borders the entrance to the country park and national waterski centre.

MacTaggart and Mickel held public consultation events in the summer of 2018 and said they wanted to build terraced and semi-detached properties and cottage-style flats. There would have been a minimum of 23 affordable homes.

Ronnie Cowan, chair of Townhill Community Council, said: "I wasn't enamoured with their attitude towards consultation as it was fairly dismissive and the information was very one-sided. They had no interest in what we were saying.

"The community council had no objection to houses being built there but this project seemed to be more about making money than making life easier for everyone.

"I'm really pleased our councillors stepped forward and put up a robust enough argument to their colleagues. I thought it was a good decision."

A previous plan was also rejected and he added: "I dare say they will appeal and if it means they come up with something that's more commensurate with what the village wants, I'm sure we'll be happy with that."

The community council objected and said proposals to have driveways fronting onto Townhill Road would have posed a risk for children walking to and from the primary school.

Mr Cowan added that their suggestion to improve road safety and slow traffic coming into the village, by bringing the proposed access road out at the entrance to Townhill Country Park and creating a new roundabout there, had been ignored.

The community council also said that narrowing Townhill Road "would be dangerous", there was a "lack of balance" in the consultation with the community and a drainage issue in the area that would be costly to solve.

At the meeting it was also pointed out that development would put extra pressure on the village school and GP surgeries.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald said: “We are creating these developments but not taking into consideration the long-term effect of not providing healthcare facilities. The GP surgery lists in this area are already full.”

Planning officer William Shand said all new developments had been looked at and several had land allocated for healthcare facilities.

He added: “Unless NHS Fife come to us and say here’s what we’re going to do and it will cost ‘X’, we can’t really ask developers for contributions towards building facilities.”

Council officers had recommended approval subject to conditions and a legal agreement that would have cost the developer more than £850,000.

The local authority wanted £18,468 towards solving capacity issues at St Margaret's RC Primary School; £360,977 towards the Dunfermline secondary school solution; £367,908 for strategic transport interventions; £107,203 towards a capacity solution at Townhill PS; 25 per cent affordable housing; and a contribution towards the upgrade of the Whitefield Road / Halbeath Road / Linburn Road junction and Halbeath Road improvements.