A controversial proposal for 125 new homes in Aberdour has been approved after appeal despite fears over flooding.
Local residents have called for planning minister Kevin Stewart MSP to intervene after a Scottish Government reporter overturned a decision by councillors to throw out Hillside School’s plans to develop its site off Main Street.
Parts of the Fife village were deluged during exceptional storms in August, increasing concerns that the development would lead to more flooding.
But a Scottish Government reporter has overturned the decision, subject to an agreement over planning obligations, enraging local residents.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) objected to the proposal on the grounds that it had the potential to place buildings and residents at risk of flood.
And in October, a Fife Council planner told the Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division (DPEA) that it was “clearly evident” events in August had demonstrated the site was at risk of flooding.
“The fact remains that the appellant has failed to submit sufficient information in order to demonstrate that the proposed development would not increase flooding or flood risk on the site or elsewhere,” said the planner.
However, a submission on behalf of Hillside School by engineering consultants said mitigation measures proposed by the developer would “remove this flood risk from the village and is a significant planning gain”.
Hillside School want to develop the grounds to fund a newbuild school near the existing site.
The owners of the school, which offers residential support to boys with behavioural difficulties, have said the existing accommodation is out of date and not fit for purpose.
The proposal drew 352 objections and is the second development in Aberdour to be approved in recent months by a Scottish Government reporter having been thrown out by councillors, having been the subject of hundreds of objections.
Local SNP councillor David Barratt said members of the community were “understandably angry”.
Aberdour Community Council have called for the Scottish planning minister to scrutinise the case.
Mr Barratt said: “My main feeling is one of dismay.
“Some will no doubt try to characterise the outrage around this decision as nimbyism, but nothing could be further from the truth.
“The application was refused by Fife Council for failing to provide sufficient information and for outstanding objections on flooding grounds from both Sepa and the council’s flood team.
“I’m shocked that the concerns of flood team and those of Sepa have been ignored and I agree with the calls for Kevin Stewart MSP to intervene.
“The community are understandably angry and the developer appears to have got away with playing the system.”