We have received worrying news yesterday, which was mentioned on our forum first, and now we have decided to publish a full article of this news in connection to the small store proposed at the FabTek site.
The planning application for the small store (00/01361/WOPP) was officially objected to by 36 people from the local community on the Fife Council website. This site has also received many objections via our comments and 197 votes in favour of the proposed supermarket with petrol station.
The Lochgelly Community Development Forum conducted their own surveys throughout Lochgelly and the surrounding areas and received over 300 replies in support of a Supermarket with Petrol Station. As we all know if the small store at FabTek is given the go ahead, we will not get the much needed petrol station with a supermarket that will provide more employment opportunities locally.
The fact that people are voting in favour of a supermarket with petrol station, counts as a vote against the store at FabTek.
The store to be located at the FabTek site has been refused twice by the Cowdenbeath Area Comittee on the grounds of:
The development if approved, by virtue of its significantly lower level of off-street car parking than is required by Fife Council Transportation Development Guidelines, will result in the loss of amenity to the detriment of the adjacent residential properties, due to an increased level of on-street parking resulting in an unacceptable reduction in road safety within the adjacent residential streets; all contrary to the provisions of Policy T3 of the Finalised Cowdenbeath Area Local Plan and Policy T2 of the Draft Mid Fife Local Plan. In addition, due to the restricted size of the site, there is potential for conflict between customer parking and service vehicles, to the detriment of road safety.
Yet this small store, which has received little support from the local community, is still being pushed by the Fife Council Planning Officers, and was also pushed through by the Lochgelly Charrette. This also highlights the concerns that the Lochgelly Charrette was not a public consultation exercise.
On Monday 7th June, the small store to be located at FabTek was reviewed by the Scottish Government Reporter on the grounds for an appeal. We do not know the outcome as yet.
Everyone who objected to this development on the Fife Council website, would have (should have) received a letter from Fife Council notifying them that the application had been refused permission but the applicant has a right to appeal;
I can now advise that Fife Council has refused permission. I enclose a copy of the decision notice for your information.
The applicant has the right of appeal to the Scottish Government against the decision or any conditions attached. If this occurs you will be notified (Admin Note: We have added the bold for emphasis)
What is of real concern to us, is that no-one who initially objected to this planning was notified that the developer had put in an appeal to the Scottish Government, and therefore, the local community has been denied their legal right to make a further objection to this proposed development, as it is now to late to raise any objections or put forward any questions.
The Lochgelly community need to raise their voices and ask Fife Council and our local councillors why no-one received notification, and why normal protocol procedure was not followed.
A supermarket for the Cowdenbeath area is rumoured to be given the go ahead, if that is true, due to populations in both Cowdenbeath and Lochgelly, there will be no need for a supermarket in both towns. Lochgelly will lose out on local employment opportunities of over 80 paid positions and the local and surrounding areas will lose out on a much needed local petrol station. Cowdenbeath will gain another supermarket in an area that is already abundant in shops and supermarkets.
Lochgelly will be left with a small store that is already recognised by the local community and Cowdenbeath Area Committee to have a potential detrimental effect on Road Safety in a quiet residential area, as well as many other issues of concern.
If you would like to leave any feedback or comments on this article, please do so below, or discuss your opinions and have your say on our forum.