A HEARING is set to be held in the summer to determine whether Fife Council's decision to reject plans for 140 homes north of Wellwood was "unlawful".

Omnivale Ltd submitted an appeal to the Scottish Government after proposals to build on a site north of Leadside Crescent were refused by the central and west planning committee in October.

The planning and environmental appeals division has now confirmed that a hearing is scheduled to take place with Scottish reporter Trevor Croft on Wednesday, July 15.

Both sides were informed: "The reporter will not be carrying out a site inspection at this stage, as these are now on hold, but a site inspection will be arranged nearer the hearing.

"The reporter is currently studying the case and has confirmed an oral process will take place, either by electronic means, or in person, which is more the desirable option."

One of the reasons the council gave for refusing planning permission was Omnivale's insistence that they would not pay anything towards the Northern Link Road (NLR), a £14 million bypass that's scheduled to go through their site.

The Nottinghamshire company said they would not set aside land for it either.

The NLR will serve the vast new housing estates where thousands of homes are being built in north Dunfermline, and take traffic away from the town centre.

The council has always maintained the road would be funded by the developers who are building the houses, on the basis that the new residents will be adding to the traffic issues in the area.

However, Omnivale argue the decision to refuse was "unjustified" and "unlawful".

They have agreed to pay contributions for education and to conditions relating to public art and affordable homes but baulked at the proposed contribution towards transport improvements which could add up to almost £550,000.

Their own assessment suggested the development would have “no significant impact on the road network which requires mitigation alleged by the council” as the increase in traffic would be “negligible”.

And they believe it’s “unreasonable” to pay for the NLR too, which would amount to “double-counting” and being charged for road improvements twice.

Planning officer William Shand had told councillors on the committee: "They are arguing that the NLR is not needed for their site.

“They haven’t proposed an alternative or any justification as to why they don’t feel it is needed.

“If we were to approve these plans, the site would essentially become a cul-de-sac with no connectivity for the link road.”

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