THERE are fresh plans to build 69 new homes on the site of Fife Council's old transport depot at Milesmark.

Allanwater Homes aim to develop the site, described previously as derelict and contaminated, off Carnock Road and turn it into a "vibrant new neighbourhood".

If approved there will be a mix of house types, ranging from two- to five-bedroom properties with terraced, semi and detached homes plus a block of cottage-style flats.

The firm's planning statement said it would be an attractive development: "Historically, this site has presented an unappealing and unkept frontage, and the new treatment along the edge will be of key importance.

"The existing site entrance is grim and unfriendly, and the opportunity to create a welcome arrival space will be taken.

"As the sites immediately to the east and west, both previously commercial, are currently being developed for new homes, the opportunity exists to form a coherent residential street frontage for the first time."

It's taken a while to get to this stage with Allanwater, who are already building homes on the street, first outlining proposals for the 2.78 hectares of land in July 2016.

A number of issues were raised by the community and after further discussions, a planning application was submitted in 2020 but later withdrawn.

In April this year, the firm launched a new public consultation and have now tabled fresh plans.

If approved, there would be 'green courtyards' of open space as well as new drainage measures, trees and landscaping.

The "positive frontage" will include railings, evergreen hedges and feature walls, with public art making reference to Dunfermline's heritage.

But the existing stone walls facing onto Carnock Road cannot be retained as the pavement is to be widened to three metres for a shared cycle/pedestrian route.

This would connect with new links through the development and provide a route to the Dunfermline to Alloa cycleway, which runs along the southern boundary of the site.

Historically, the land was covered by a quarry and rail lines ran through it. The quarry was filled in by the early 1900s and the land was later turned into a depot. The rail tracks were removed by 1986.

In February 2016, the council decided to sell the site, and three other depots in Dunfermline, and bring together four services under one roof at a new 'super depot' at Halbeath.

However, development will not be plain sailing as there are a number of obstacles.

The site is allocated currently as a safeguarded employment area and concerns have been raised locally about the loss of employment land.

Site "constraints" include a gas governor – which would be retained – as well as an existing mineshaft and a steep embankment.

Investigations, which involved boring 13 holes into the ground, found "elevated concentrations of lead", chrysotile (white) asbestos and "potentially phytotoxic (poisonous to plants) concentrations of zinc" beneath the surface.

A report added: "The site is therefore considered to pose a medium risk to surface receptors (human health and plant life), based on the proposed residential end use.

"Although elevated concentrations of specific metals compounds have been recorded within the groundwater samples recovered from below the site, no direct linkage with soil leachate has been established.

"As such, a low risk of harm to the water environment is considered to exist at the site."

It's recommended that gardens and soft landscaping areas are covered with 600 millimetres of topsoil to "break the potential linkage between elevated contaminants within the near surface made ground materials and identified surface receptors".