Fife Council development plan delayed due to insufficient information

A plan to develop Fife Council over the next 20 years has been delayed because the authority has failed to submit sufficient information on its proposals.

The Scottish government claimed it had to issue over 100 requests for more details and information to the local authority.

Fife Council’s plan considers the long-term issues which affect the region and sets out land use planning policies to guide where development should and should not go over the next two decades.

The proposals take into account climate change, the scale of housing and population change, infrastructure planning and sustainable economic growth.

Lesley Laird, depute leader of Fife Council, said she was concerned by the ‘further postponement’ of the plans.

Writing to Kevin Stewart, the minister for local government and housing, she said: “I’ve asked the minister to clarify what the ‘unforeseen circumstances’ are so that we can work together with DPEA (Planning and Environmental Appeals Division) colleagues to do all we can to make sure the report is published week beginning 14 November, the latest date we've been given.

"These delays are causing uncertainly in the Fife economy and anxiety for communities and developers. There are a number of major planning applications where the applicants are awaiting the outcomes of the examination before progressing with their applications.

"As well as the significant overrun of timescales, the cost to the council is considerable and continues to escalate. I have again asked the Scottish government the extent to which DPEA should cover the costs arising from the ongoing delay."

A spokesman for the Scottish government said: "Reporters considering the Fife local development plan have had to issue over 100 requests for more information because of insufficient information submitted by the council.

"This is an unprecedented number and has inevitably had an impact on the length of time being taken to conduct the examination.

"DPEA has already responded to Councillor Laird's concerns and will consider any further issues brought to our attention."