PLANS for a £3.3 million development which would have seen 27 apartments created on Walmer Drive in Dunfermline have been knocked back.

Two Knights Developments, based in Dalgety Bay, had applied to convert the old Fife Council buildings into nine homes and build a new five-storey block with a further 18 homes next to it.

However, planners said it would represent a "form of overdevelopment" which would appear overbearing and would visually dominate the existing category C-listed building and the surrounding area.

In a report, Fife Council planners added: "The proposal would, therefore, have a detrimental impact on, and would fail to preserve, the historic character, appearance and setting of this category C-listed building and the historic character of the surrounding Dunfermline Conservation Area.

"The proposal would also not comply with Fife Council's Minimum Distance Between Window Opening Guidance, would not provide sufficient garden ground and does not provide the required affordable housing on site.

"The proposal would therefore not be acceptable and would be contrary to the terms of the Development Plan."

The vacant office has not been occupied since 2011 since it became surplus to requirements for Fife Council.

A statement by the developer's agents had warned that the building was "not considered to be viable as an office refurbishment within the Dunfermline market" and warned that a failure to invest would see the fabric deteriorate and the property left prone to vandalism.

The original premises is an early 19th century, two-stone villa and a three-storey 'wrap around' extension was added in the 1960s when it was converted into office premises with an enclosed car sales garage.

Two Knights Developments had hoped to change the use of the office building to create nine flats and build a new building, on the lower half of the existing car park, where they planned to provide 16 one- and two-bedroom flats and two two-bedroom penthouses.