DEVELOPMENT at the former Prestonhill Quarry appears to be a step closer.

The site beside the Fife Coastal Path has been in neglect for 40 years and during that time there have been four deaths at the quarry, leading to increased calls for action.

A request for Screening Opinion application – which aims to see if a development should be subject to an Environmental Impact Assessment – for a mixed use development was submitted by DDR (UK) Ltd to Fife Council's planning department this week.

The submission said the proposals would include approximately 180 residential units, holiday accommodation chalets, associated access, open space, landscaping and infrastructure at the site.

Earlier this year, Alan Ockendon, from Prestonhill Developments Ltd, told the Press that they were moving forward with developers assigned to proceed with a planning application.

Mr Ockendon told the Press this week that they were hopeful that plans were progressing.

"Prestonhill Development Ltd doesn't own the quarry," he said. "The quarry is ownerless. Prestonhill Developments took over the standard security of the land so we are almost like the bank. We have a keen interest in it but we are not responsible for the quarry.

"Over the last nearly three years since we became involved with this, we have been looking at getting some kind of development going because of the desperate history of the quarry and there have been various ups and downs in that process.

"However, in the early part of this year, we came to an agreement with a potential developer and part of this agreement is they would put in a planning application.

"This is not being driven or controlled by us at Prestonhill Developments Ltd."

Local councillor David Barratt said he was keen to find out more about the application.

"I have emailed the planning department to see if there are more details – it is difficult to comment with so little information," he said. "There seem to be more houses than suggested before and it doesn't mention a diving centre."