COUNCILLORS are set to be asked to reject plans for a brand-new Home Bargains store for Dunfermline today (Wednesday).

Proposals for the development on land south of Dunlin Drive would have see the creation of a retail unit with an outdoor garden centre and parking.

However, Fife Council planners recommended that the application from TJ Morris Ltd be refused by members of the Central and West Area planning committee, who meet this afternoon, in order to safeguard existing and future town and local centres.

The applicant bought the vacant site – which has had a long history of planning consent for retail over the past 20 years – but it is yet to be developed.

As reported by the Press previously, they said the plans would bring "significant economic benefits" with an estimated 50 full-time jobs to be created.

A planning statement explained: "Development of the site would bring a long-term vacant development plot within the Dunfermline Eastern Expansion area into viable economic use which will serve to address shopping demands within the local area.

"A significant amount of new housing has been built in the surrounding area or is currently in the pipeline. Despite this, no new retail facilities to serve this new community have been developed.

"Consent for a large food store was previously granted on the nearby Freescale/Halbeath Interchange site. However, this development was never initiated and a new planning application for a revised mix of uses, not including the food store, has recently been granted.

"Development of the application site will therefore help to address the void in retail supply left at the Freescale site."

The plans attracted 173 objections and 30 comments of support.

Issues raised included high levels of traffic, sufficient shops of similar nature nearby, overdevelopment in the area and loss of green space.

Those in favour cited reasons such as job creation, more shopping choice and that the development could mean the end of fly-tipping if the site was in use.

Recommending the plans for refusal, planning case officer Sarah Purves said they were contrary to the Fife Local Development Plan.

"It would result in a retail development outwith the town centre which would be out of keeping in terms of design, to the detriment of sustainability and visual amenity," she said.

"Overall, the development is contrary to the development plan, there being no relevant material considerations of sufficient weight to justify departing there from."