PLANS to create a Home Bargains store in Dunfermline have been rejected.

Councillors rubber-stamped recommendations from planners that the proposals for the retail unit with outdoor garden centre and parking on land south of Dunlin Drive be turned down.

Members of Fife Council's Central and West area planning committee agreed that the application from TJ Morris Ltd would have a detrimental impact on existing and future city centre trade.

The plans had attracted 173 objections and 30 comments of support.

Mary Stewart, from the council's planning service, said permission for retail use had been given for the site previously, however, this was for a different purpose.

She explained: "The previous permission provided for local community-based facilities which did include a number of small retail units really designed to serve the locality in the sense of a local neighbourhood centre.

"They would largely be expected to serve a 20-minute walking distance or however you define that local need. The current proposal is for a much larger unit. It is born out by the number of car-parking spaces proposed.

"The draw would be from a much wider area and, at over 2,300 square metres, it is edging towards the size where we would consider it needed a full retail impact assessment.

"That, combined with the absence for a proven need of additional retail floorspace that could be supported in terms of the available expenditure within the area, there really is not a case for the current proposal."

Following Wednesday's meeting, Dunfermline Central councillor Aude Boubaker-Calder said it was a "common-sense" decision.

"A residential area is not the right area and, as mentioned in the papers, plenty of city centre and retail park locations are already available for this kind of business," she added.

"The wide-scale public opposition is testament to this unsuitability. I hope companies such as Home Bargains take stock – we have a great city centre and retail park and I would encourage all businesses to use the facilities there to invest in.”