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Almost 500 objections lodged against controversial Cupar North development

The site of the Cupar North development.
An aerial view of the site of the Cupar North development.

Almost 500 people have objected to a plan that would increase the size of Cupar by 30%.

A public consultation on the controversial Cupar North development closed on Sunday.

And it has been met with overwhelming opposition.

Of the 514 comments received by Fife Council’s planning department, 494 are objections.

The new Cupar North development masterplan.

And just eight comments are in favour of the proposed development.

The controversial application by Persimmon Homes is one of the largest ever in north east Fife.

It includes 1,400 new homes on farmland along Cupar’s northern edge over the next 30 years.

And a primary school, relief road, hotel, retail, leisure and petrol station are also included in the multi-million-pound plan.

It will come before councillors on the north east planning committee in due course.

In the meantime, we’ve outlined some of the concerns as well as comments in favour of the development.

Cupar north development consultation raises concerns for schools and health services

Among the objectors is Cupar Community Council.

It said most of Cupar is “resistant” to the scale of the development.

And chairwoman Gina Logan is worried about the potential effect on local schools and health services.

Fife Council’s education service says 1,400 new homes would require a 15-class primary school as well as an extension to Bell Baxter High School.

Gina Logan is concerned about the Cupar North development.
Gina Logan is concerned about the proposed Cupar North development.

Ms Logan said: “There are plans for a new primary school but when will it be built and who will pay the additional costs?

“Bell Baxter is already at capacity and there is no room for an extension unless they use temporary huts.

“Is this where we want our children to be educated?”

And health services in in the town are stretched even without the Cupar North development, according to Ms Logan.

She added: “A major influx of people from this new development will have a major effect on health and social work facilities.”

Relief road ‘urgently required’

Meanwhile, Cupar Development Trust (CDT) has also expressed concern.

The organisation was set up in 2015 to promote and co-ordinate change for the benefit of Cupar.

Chairman Bill Pagan says it isn’t against the Cupar North development in principle.

But it is concerned about potential damage to the town and missed opportunities if it happens in its current form.

Bill Pagan.

One of the main issues is traffic – both during construction and from hundreds of new residents – before the relief road is complete.

And the development’s impact on the town centre is another concern.

Mr Pagan said: “CDT calls for the delivery of a relief road for Cupar as essential infrastructure provision.

“There is no other similar town in Fife, or indeed Scotland, which has a principal road running through its town centre shopping street.

“Even if it were not for the proposals contained in this application, a relief road is urgently required.”

Cupar North development will bring jobs and economic development

However, there are people in the town who support the Cupar North development.

They include members of the Association of Businesses in Cupar, which says it will bring jobs and prosperity to the area.

In its response, the association said: “The association continues to support the overall Cupar North proposals as they provide a clear vision for the future direction of development in Cupar over the next 20-plus years.”

Cupar town centre. Picture courtesy of CuparNow.

And it added: “It is considered these will have an overall net positive overall economic impact on Cupar and the surrounding area.

“Jobs will be created and overall trading activity increased in the town.”

However, it continued: “That is not to say the association endorses every aspect of the proposal.

“It will therefore continue to lobby against these aspects considered not to be in the overall interests of businesses.”

Others in support of Cupar North say it will increase the town’s vibrancy, remove HGVs from the town centre and help cut pollution.

Persimmon Homes said it had extended the consultation period and updated its masterplan in response to the comments received.

A document has also been submitted on behalf of the Cupar North Consortium, which comprises Persimmon, Headon Developments and Vico Properties.

It said the application was in line with the council’s development plan.

And it added the blueprint would deliver “a high quality urban expansion of Cupar in a form consistent with the council’s and the community’s aspirations.”