Strathkinness housing development given green light

The site at Nydie Mains Road, Strathkinness

A housing development has been given the go-ahead despite concerns it could bring too many pupils for the village primary school.

Fife Council granted planning permission for up to 66 homes to be built in Strathkinness.

The number of houses was reduced from the 76 which developer Avant Homes wanted to build which it was predicted would push Strathkinness Primary School over capacity by one child for three years.

Based on a formula of 3.5 school-age children per 10 houses, the reduced number of houses brings the projected school roll below 100% capacity.

Although there remained concern that more and bigger families than anticipated could move into the new houses and elsewhere in Strathkinness, the full council agreed with a recommendation by the north east planning committee that consent be given for up to 66 units on the site at Nydie Mains.

A phasing plan will be required to allow impact on the school, where pupil numbers are expected to fall in the longer term, to be monitored.

Planner Mary Stewart told councillors: “By managing the rate of the development through a legal agreement which would mean we would engage with the applicant in terms of actual numbers of children at the school as the development builds out we believe we can manage that capacity within the school’s ability to provide education.

“In the longer term, the proposal would serve to support the continuation of what is quite a small village school in light of the falling roll.”

Louise Playford, education service manager for school estates, said that any school could exceed its capacity and that processes were in place to work with families in such situations.

She also confirmed that Strathkinness Primary School could not easily be extended.

St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson also highlighted worries of local residents about creating vehicle access through the Bonfield Park cul-de-sac, which he said some feared would create a rat run and compromise road safety.

Mrs Stewart said the secondary access route complied with best practice in urban design and that often in such circumstances residents come to appreciate the new access.

Strathkinness Community Council opposed the planning application for 76 homes and also recommended the number be reduced.

It also claimed the new homes would increase the village’s flood risk, although this was dismissed by council planners.

The developer will have to pay for a feasibility study to determine how education capacity could be increased.