Plans for a massive new housing development at Halbeath have been approved.
Fife Council’s west area planning committee has given 20-year planning permission in principle for the 1,400 home site just north of the Fife circle line.
The longer than normal time frame was agreed to allow the developer to return with more detailed planning applications for the site as it takes shape.
The plan will effectively join Dunfermline to the village of Kingseat.
Taylor Wimpey East Scotland intends to build 1,400 houses, a primary school and community facilities on the 80-hectare agricultural site at Pleasance Road.
The phased development will initially include 340 homes.
Plans for an improved road network include a segment of a new northern link road and realignment of Whitefield Road, which leads to Queen Margaret Hospital.
Halbeath Road could also be upgraded to two lanes in each direction between Asda and Linburn Road.
The company has proposed that construction traffic for the first phase of work will come into the site from Whitefield Road after Network Rail asked for assurances that the Halbeath level crossing will not be used.
More than 150 objections were lodged, including protests from local community councils.
Critics voiced concerns about unacceptable suburban spread and the impact on roads, schools and other services.
Temporary classes could be installed at Townhill Primary School to accommodate a rise in pupil numbers. A school on site is also proposed as part of the second phase.
Labour councillor Andrew Verrecchia said the huge development would heap more pressure on an already troubled education service, with a number of local high schools in need of replacement.
He predicted the location of the homes, close to the railway line, would likely attract commuters at a time when travellers are reporting difficulties on the Fife circle line.
And he warned of the impact on health services.
“It all very well having a place for a health centre but it is quite another to build one and to find the staff to run one,” he added.
“We do not have an acute hospital, the out of hours service is under threat.
“I think we are creating a bit of a monster and I worry about the pressure it is going to put on public services if we continue to build developments of this magnitude.”
Officers had recommended the application be approved, subject to a legal agreement, and this was unanimously agreed by the committee.