Cupar residents are being given the chance to air their views on a massive planning application that could change the shape of the town.
But Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the multi-million bid for Cupar North, will not attend Thursday’s drop-in event.
And Fife Council planning officials will not be present either.
The proposed Cupar North development would bring more than 1,400 new homes to local farmland.
And the application also includes a new primary school and relief road, as well as a hotel, restaurant, retail and petrol station.
It has proved hugely controversial since it was lodged around 20 years ago.
And while opinions are mixed, many Cupar residents say Persimmon Homes is running roughshod over their views.
A last-ditch plea has now gone out to both the developer and planning officers, urging them to attend the meeting.
‘Short-sighted and disrespectful’
Cupar and District Community Council organised Thursday’s event to allow everyone the chance to have a say.
It was originally arranged for December but postponed due to Covid restrictions.
Members delivered thousands of leaflets to households across the town to invite them along.
But they are disappointed in the response from the developer and the council.
Community council chairwoman Gina Logan said: “This meeting is an important chance to hear the views of Cupar residents.
“It is very disappointing that the developer and Fife Council have both declined our offer to attend our meeting and listen to local people.
“Persimmon Homes’ previous attempts at consulting the community have not been good enough and that’s why this meeting was crucial.”
North East Fife MSP Willie Rennie agreed, branding the no-show decision “short-sighted and disrespectful”.
I urge them to see sense and turn up on Thursday.”
Willie Rennie MSP.
He said: “This is a complicated proposal for development that will change the shape of Cupar for generations to come.
“To address the serious questions that residents have it is important that the developer is available.
“I urge them to see sense and turn up on Thursday.”
Fife Council said it would not be appropriate for a planning officer to attend given the planning application is live.
Service manager Alastair Hamilton said: “We have to be impartial when determining an application and attendance could potentially compromise this position.”
Persimmon Homes did not respond to a request for comment.
Cupar North: Housing needed to meet growing need
Cupar North is the biggest, and perhaps most controversial, development affecting Cupar for generations.
And Gina said: “I know we need housing to meet a growing need but Cupar North is a 20-year-old plan based on things we needed then.
“Times have changed and we need to create far more sustainable, smaller developments nearer services – not sprawling estates that could erode so much of the landscape.
“People have said to me they are really worried about the impact of Cupar North.
“If Cupar North goes ahead, it will change Cupar forever.
“We need to make our views known before it’s too late.”
Thursday’s drop-in takes place at The Corn Exchange, St Catherine Street, Cupar, on Thursday February 3, from 2pm to 8pm.