Ambitious plans to transform a Fife waterfront have been thrown out by planners.
The multi-million pound blueprint for 55 flats and commercial units on a site at the western end of Kirkcaldy Esplanade have been rejected by councillors at a meeting of Fife Council’s central and west Fife planning committee.
The three blocks of flats and commercial units, earmarked for a vacant site to the south east of the Morrisons supermarket on Kirkcaldy Esplanade, next to Seafield Beach, had been proposed by Broughty Ferry-based developers Grant Road Properties.
Planning officers had advised the project be rejected, claiming it would have an adverse effect on local schools provision, which does not have sufficient capacity.
A lack of measures to promote the use of sustainable transport, the impact on existing road infrastructure, the shortfall in communal car parking spaces and absence of electric vehicle charging points were also concerns.
Councillor John Beare said the proposal had few, if any, redeeming features, adding the design was more akin to a commercial development than residential.
Grant Road Properties had argued the residential-led mixed use development would act as a “catalyst” for wider redevelopment and urged councillors to back the plan.
“The development has been carefully designed in response to the site’s immediate context and the surrounding townscape in this part of the town and provides a new urban block with appropriate scale, massing and quality of materials,” the company added.
Looking to have the decision deferred to later unspecified date, Kirkcaldy Central councillor, Alistair Cameron voiced concerns the lack of school places in the area was effectively halting any regeneration of the site when the town most needed it.
“While the application had many faults it was also represented a key element to the redevelopment at the entrance to Kirkcaldy.
“Fife Council’s education department telling us that should the application be accepted construction should be delayed until 2026 is simply unacceptable.
“We have to find a way round this in a time when there is a desperate need for homes and for jobs in the town.”
His concerns were echoed by Councillor Mino Manekshaw, who said the lack of school provision effectively declared a “development blight” for that part of the town.
“We have to work out a way of educating our children without stopping development,” he said.
A motion to allow the developer to defer the application to a later date was rejected and the application refused.