AFTER years of waiting it looks like plans to build 140 homes in Wellwood are finally going to get the go-ahead.

Following an appeal to the Scottish Government, a Notice of Intention to grant planning permission has now been issued for the application that Ominvale Ltd submitted in January 2017.

The Nottinghamshire-based firm want to build 140 homes on 14 acres of land to the north of Leadside Crescent in the village.

However their planning application was rejected by Fife Council in 2019, a decision that the developer claimed was “unlawful” and now, more than five years after tabling their plans, is about to be overturned on appeal.

Omnivale had baulked at the council’s demands for developer contributions towards transport improvements in the area, which could have been more than £550,000, and money for education. They reckoned it was “unjustified” and appealed to the Scottish Government for a final ruling.

Trevor Croft, reporter from the government's planning and environmental appeals division, has now stated: “Subject to final details on obligations on transport and education being agreed between the appellant and the council, I consider the appeal proposal to be in accordance with the development plan."

He said legal agreements should be drawn up and explained: "These refer to transport, including the northern link road, and education. Affordable housing is referred to in conditions but parties may wish to confirm this in the obligation.

“I will accordingly defer determination of this appeal for a period of 12 weeks to enable the relevant planning obligation."

Ominvale previously agreed to pay an “appropriate contribution” towards the cost of a new Wellwood Primary School but had questioned whether they should be helping to fund a two-classroom extension at St Margaret’s PS.

And they were willing to pay towards increased capacity at Queen Anne High School but were still to agree a “suitable figure” with the council.

The application is for planning permission in principle and the plot is east of the A823 road, opposite the Rennies bus depot.

FIFEplan, the council’s local development plan which maps out what can be built and where, said the site could accommodate 100 homes but Omnivale believe the capacity is higher.

However, the main disagreement was the company’s insistence that they shouldn’t have to cough up for transport improvements, such as the £20 million-plus Northern Link Road (NLR).

It’s a bypass running between Halbeath and Milesmark that will serve the new housing estates in the north of Dunfermline and take traffic away from the town centre.

The council’s stance was that developers must pay for transport and education improvements in the area on the basis that the homes they’re building, and the residents who move into them, will be adding to traffic issues and school capacities.

Omnivale argued that the increase in traffic from their site would be “negligible” and that having to pay towards the NLR too would amount to “double-counting”. They also didn’t want to provide land for the bypass, which is set to run through the site.