THE Scottish Government has been asked to overrule Fife Council and give the go-ahead for 92 new homes next to Townhill Country Park.

Housing developer MacTaggart & Mickel, from Glasgow, has submitted an appeal after proposals to build on an area of land north of Kent Street in Dunfermline were refused in July.

The firm said it may also pursue the local authority for expenses as it "does not consider the council to have acted reasonably" and stated "the reason for refusal is not a proper and reasonable planning reason".

The site is allocated for housing and officers had recommended approval but members of the west planning committee voted 6-2 to reject the planning application due to overdevelopment and lack of green space.

They said it was "not suitable in design and density" for the site and Dunfermline North councillor Ian Ferguson said "you just get this feeling that it has all been squashed in”.

However, MacTaggart & Mickel's appeal said "it is evident that elected members gave inadequate consideration and weight to the allocation of the site, the professional opinion of external statutory consultees and internal consultees within the council".

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

There is a pylon within the site and overhead lines running through it.

The firm said the site was allocated for housing in FIFEplan, the council's local development plan which states what can be built and where, and in the wider North Dunfermline Strategic Development Area, which "has an important role to play in meeting housing demand in Fife".

It added that the plans were backed by council officers, the site's housing capacity of 80 was an estimate only and less than the council's previous suggestion of 120, and the inclusion of homes fronting onto Townhill Road was encouraged by council officers to help with road safety.

MacTaggart & Mickel said the development would help meet a shortfall in housing land supply and held public consultation events in the summer of 2018, outlining its aim of building terraced and semi-detached properties, bungalows and cottage-style flats.

A quarter would be affordable homes and the firm said there would be "generous" public open space, enhancements to Townhill Road including a three-metre-wide footpath/cycleway and links to the country park.

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

Townhill Community Council had objected to the plans and chairman Ronnie Cowan claimed the firm "had no interest in what we were saying" during the consultation.

He had added: "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."