The consultation officially ended on the 20th July 2011 and no more comments can be received via the Fife Council website. You can view all the comments that were made at: http://fife.limehouse.co.uk/portal/planning/lochgelly_guidance/lsptg.

We received positive replies from most of the MSPs and local councillors that took the time to reply to us, with most choosing to look further into the issues we raised, as well as concerns that were put to them by other individuals and local groups. Some of the MSPs supported the call to have the consultation halted or extended.

We also made a mistake with one of the points we raised concerning the consultation, specifically;

  • The plans available to download from the Fife Direct website are different from the plans held in the local office. The plans available in the local office gives more in-depth information on some of the areas to be redeveloped. Both online and offline documents should be exactly the same.

It was brought to our attention that the PDF documentation was exactly the same as the offline documentation when viewed on a Windows Operating System. We had viewed the documentation on the MAC OS (10.4 & 9.1) and these 2 systems had difficulty in viewing the full guidance notes. We are unsure if this issue affected all MAC Operating Systems, or just our 2 specific set-ups. We made a formal apology to Fife Council, local councillors and the MSPs we had contacted which can be viewed at Amendment to the Consultation.

Unlikely Ally?

The East area to be developed along the NGL pipelines received opposition from Mossmorran

Whilst we welcome the production of a brief to direct development in this area, there are a number of inaccuracies in the draft SPG and the plans and keys produced are not clear.

In particular, the plan contained in Section 3.3.1e Lochgelly East is unclear and confusing. It does not identify the correct location of the NGL pipeline. This must be amended.

Similarly, the reference to building frontages in such close proximity to the pipeline is not appropriate and should be reconsidered in line with relevant advice contained in the HSE PADHI Guidelines.

Section 3.4.3 of the Brief suggests scope for the inclusion of low-density residential development within the Lochgelly East area. This conflicts with the current position of the Local Plan which clearly identifies this area as suitable for employment uses only.

This part of the Brief should be amended to reflect the correct Policy position as set out in the Local Plan. This does not include residential development.

Mossmorran then go on to state:

Failure to Consult with Shell (UK) Ltd on the Draft SPG
Despite our significant involvement in the local plan review process and as a key stakeholder, we were not notified of this consultation. We would therefore ask that we are notified of any future consultations and kept advised on the progress of this matter.

Timing of the publication of this SPG
Whilst we understand the desire to progress development briefs such as these, we consider that the release of this draft SPG is premature in advance of the Reporters’ Report on the LP Examination.

South Area – Exclusion Zone?

One of the comments left by local Community Councillor, Ernest McPherson, states that the Health & Safety Executive have stated that there should be no residential development within 3 kilometres (1.8 miles) of the Mossmorran Petrochemical plant (Bruntsfield site). We are going to try and get verification of this, but if true, this may provide residents of the SOuth area a reprieve from the planned developments.

Checking on Google Maps using the Distance Measurement Tool shows that Areas at the top of the town, areas in Cowdenbeath and Auchtertool are all within the HSE exclusion zone, which raises an interesting point on safety of these areas.

What Next?

No more official comments can be made, however we have received an email from Fife Council stating;

If it helps, we would be prepared to accept comments from you after the close of the formal consultation period to allow your views to be submitted and placed before the Cowdenbeath Area Committee in September so that the Committee Members can take account of your views when determining how to proceed with the supplementary guidance. Ideally, we should like to have your comments in our possession two weeks before the Committee (14th September) allowing us to prepare the paperwork ahead of the Committee meeting.

We are assuming that this is open to individuals as well. Local councillor Mark Hood has also stated that he is open to receiving comments from the local community so anyone that missed their opportunity to comment on the guidance plans, should contact Mark Hood. You can get his contact details from his site at: http://www.markhood.org/.

If you wish to leave your comments on the consultation with us, we will also submit them to Fife Council

The Cowdenbeath Area Committee will be meeting on the 14th September to discuss the plans. We will also get an update from the Lochgelly Community Development Forum and the Lochgelly Community Council.

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