PROPOSALS to stabilise mine works in Dunfermline to allow development to take place have been approved by Fife Council.

Planners had recommended that the application for land to the east of Whitefield Road be given the go-ahead by members of the Central and West Fife planning committee.

Taylor Wimpey East Scotland say the grounds remediation works to stabilise shallow mine works will prepare the site – which has been identified as phase one of the Halbeath Strategic Development Area masterplan – for future residential development.

Phase one would include approximately 340 residential units, with a mix of market and affordable units, while also including landscaping, open space, the re-routing of Whitefield Road, SuDS and de-culverting the southern boundary watercourse.

In a report to councillors, planner Bryan Reid explained the area was within a high risk coal mining area and had an "extensive history" of use for coal mining of different forms.

"Intrusive site investigation has been carried out, as well as a mining risk assessment," he stated. "These assessments consider the potential impacts on the geological environment, including the existing, subsurface, abandoned mine workings beneath the site, a legacy of its extensive history of coal mining.

"The results of the investigations carried out on site thus far confirmed that significant historical mine workings are present within the site area. Grouting of the former workings and capping of mineshafts will therefore be required to facilitate future residential development.

"The purpose of the proposed grouting is to fill underground voids and cavities that could lead to ground settlement."

Concerns over the proposals had been raised by Bellyeoman Community Council, who called into question the the application's reliance upon the ecological evidence submitted in a six-year old study.

However, Mr Reid said updates had since been carried out including a bat survey in 2021 and a site survey in April this year.

"The submitted environmental statement concludes that there would be no detrimental impact on the environment from this development either individually or cumulatively," he added.

"There have been no significant issues raised by the consultees on any of the matters raised within the environmental statement."