A VIRTUAL hearing to determine whether 140 new homes should been built on land north of Wellwood is set to take place next month.

Omnivale Ltd appealed to the Scottish Government after Fife Council refused to grant them permission to develop the 14-acre site.

The developers branded the decision as "unjustified" and "unlawful" and the final say is now in the hands of a government reporter.

The hearing had been scheduled to take place in the summer but was pushed back because of Covid-19 restrictions.

Omnivale, based in Nottingham, want to build the new homes on land north of Leadside Crescent but the stumbling block is their refusal to pay the council’s demand for money for transport improvements.

That could add up to £550,000 and they also don’t want to contribute towards, or provide land for, the £14 million-plus Northern Link Road (NLR), which would go through the site.

The council have always insisted that this, and other transport improvements, must be paid for by housing developers on the basis that the homes they sell will be occupied by residents who will add to traffic issues in the area.

Omnivale argued that 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.

This is a key argument for the council because, if they lose, other developers may also try to get out of paying for transport infrastructure the local authority have already said they can’t afford on their own.

The appeal hearing will take place on December 9 and 10.