MUIR HOMES are hoping it will be fourth time lucky after applying to build 35 homes in Dalgety Bay.

Three previous attempts by the Inverkeithing-based group to develop a plot south of Fulmar Way, in Donibristle Industrial Estate, have been refused.

The frustrated developer said Fife Council were acting in a "contradictory" way by allocating the land for housing but then rejecting the only possible vehicle access routes into the site.

A planning statement on behalf of Muir Homes said: "The council’s position is preventing a site, which forms part of its agreed development strategy, from being delivered, in a location where there is a high demand for new housing and a shortage of affordable housing."

At 1.6 hectares, the plot lies to the east of the Asda store and to the north of homes on Meadowfield and Otterston Grove.

Formerly in industrial use, the brownfield site has been vacant "for at least 20 years" and is zoned for residential use in the council's local development plan.

But previous applications from Muir Homes for 47, 51 and then 44 homes were refused in March 2015, February 2017 and April 2018 respectively.

Last time, councillors decided that the company had failed to show that noise levels of surrounding businesses would not affect potential residents.

This time, the company aims to address that issue with a 10-metre wide landscaping belt and acoustic fencing, but vehicle access remains a sticking point.

After pre-application discussions with the developer, council officers still aren't happy with the proposal for vehicle access to the site to be taken from Fulmar Way.

They say a new vehicle access in an industrial estate would create "conflicts" between residential and industrial traffic that would pose road safety issues.

The council refused previously allow vehicle access via Otterston Drive.

In their application, Muir Homes argue that the Donibristle estate has "evolved over time" to host a wide variety of land uses including an Asda supermarket, a haulage firm, clothing manufacturers, hairdressers, retail, a construction contractor, garage and consultancy businesses, believing it now "more closely resembles a business park".

Their statement added: "The requirement for site access arrangements to be from outwith the industrial estate is not justified. It should therefore not be used a reason to refuse this application."

The plans are for 35 new homes, including nine affordable homes. They would be a mix of three- to five-bedroom houses, detached and semi-detached, as well as two-bed cottage flats and three-bed terraced homes.

The properties would have solar panels and the proposals include shared driveways, a parking court, sustainable urban drainage system, open space, trees, landscaping and a new play area.

There would be new cycleways and a pedestrian link to Otterston Grove.

Muir Homes, who met with Dalgety Bay and Hillend Community Council last month, added: "The proposal for Fulmar Way seeks to establish a vibrant new neighbourhood which will integrate into the existing residential area to the south and improve existing and future pedestrian access to surrounding amenities and public transport."