PLANS for the "backland development" of a new house in Dunfermline have been approved despite 24 objections.

Local residents raised concerns about Neil Fawcett's application to build a property and create an access to the rear of two bungalows on Sunningdale Lane.

But a Fife Council officer pointed out that there's another 900 houses planned for next door to the plot in Parkneuk.

Letters of objection expressed concern about the visual and residential impact, construction noise, road and pedestrian safety and the loss of a claimed right of way, core paths, trees, wildlife and biodiversity.

Several councillors at the west and central planning committee recently were wary of "backland development" and "creating housing behind housing" while there was also concern about flooding.

Dunfermline Press: The new house would be accessed via this route from Sunningdale Lane in Dunfermline.The new house would be accessed via this route from Sunningdale Lane in Dunfermline. (Image: Google Maps)

However, planning officers recommended approval, pointing out the site borders a huge swathe of land at Swallowdrum where the council say a further 900 houses could be built, and planning permission in principle was granted.

Case officer Lorraine Gardner confirmed: "It is to the rear of 1 and 3 Sunningdale Lane but to the north is the strategic development area which is a growth expansion area which is adopted in the Fife Plan."

A report to the committee said the plot is a former brownfield site, with evidence of past coal mining, and there used to be a railway line running through it.

At 0.1 hectares in size, it is now overgrown scrubland with some wild plants, hedgerow, trees and fencing, and accessed via an informal single access track and a lock gate.

Cllr Derek Glen said the advice that there was no flood risk "doesn't quite chime with practical experience" with local residents having flagged up problems in the surrounding area.

Ms Gardner said the SEPA flood map showed the area was subject to a "low to medium risk from surface water" due to Baldridge Burn.

However she added that the applicant had supplied further details in terms of flood risk and drainage and the "technical reports concluded that actual area was not in a flood area or at risk of flooding".

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The council's transportation service had objected to the plans, on the grounds of "inadequate visibility splays", but this was withdrawn after the applicant submitted further information to show how this could be addressed.

The committee report said the "claimed right of way could be maintained in conjunction with the proposed access" and that development would "formalise and improve the levels of pedestrian and road safety that already exist".

Conditions were added to ensure the core paths that run to the north and west of the site are "kept clear from obstruction at all times, during and after development".

There would also be "compensatory planting" to replace lost trees.

However, a further, more detailed application will need to be submitted before final approval.