AN appeal has been submitted to the Scottish Government after Fife Council rejected proposals for two new homes near the Forth shore.

James Corrie, of Blairadam, wants ministers to overturn the decision and grant permission to develop a plot at Crombie Point.

Local residents had previously complained that a "devious strategy" had been used to artificially manufacture support for the development, while an appeal statement on his behalf said the council gave "undue credence" to the 37 objections.

It stated: "This is a straightforward planning proposal for residential development on underused land within Crombie Point on a site that is within a small hamlet adjacent to other residential dwellings.

"The appellant is aggrieved that after two applications and extensive consultations, the council have refused his application on tenuous planning policy grounds and a perceived flood risk technicality."

He believes the judgement of the planning case officer was "flawed and unreasonable" and said one of the reasons for refusal was "incomprehensible".

Dunfermline Press: Fife Council said the rules as to who can comment on a planning application are laid down by the Scottish Government.Fife Council said the rules as to who can comment on a planning application are laid down by the Scottish Government. (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Corrie sought planning consent to build two houses, plus garages and access, on a site around 3,200 square metres in size and 1.5km south-west of Crombie.

Previous plans to build two houses on the site were withdrawn in February 2009 and November 2022.

His application was continued from March and then refused by the west and central planning committee in June.

One of the local residents who objected, Sally Masterton, said that out of the 26 people who wrote letters of support for the application, just a handful were from West Fife with some living as far away as Stow and Henley on Thames in England, as well as Banchory and Aberdeen.

She claimed that six letters could be traced to the Edinburgh firm of architects, Yeoman McAllister, who represented Mr Corrie.

At the first committee meeting in March some councillors had argued that the proposals could be viewed as development of a gap site, which would be acceptable in planning terms.

However, in June a planning officer's report to the committee said the site was not allocated for housing and would be unjustified development in the countryside.

It recommended refusal as the proposal was contrary to the council's 'cluster policy', as it would lead to coalescence between two distinct and separate settlements, and should also be ruled out on flood risk grounds.

Mr Corrie's appeal said that the flood risk assessment was "misunderstood and misrepresented" at the committee and caused "undue and unnecessary confusion amongst members".

His appeal statement said that four neighbour notifications "resulted in a concerted local campaign amounting to 37 objections to which the council gave undue credence and required a disproportionate amount of additional information".

It continued: "Conversely, a total of 26 letters of support were received for this application.

"These commented that the proposed development would enhance the appearance and amenity of Crombie Point, provide additional high-quality houses, enhance the character of the area and contribute to a housing shortfall."

The statement added that "little weight can be given to the objections".