Fife Council challenges development plan delays and rising costs

Depute leader Lesley Laird challenges FIFEplan hold-ups on behalf of taxpayers, who may otherwise have to foot the bill, as well as communities and developers

Fife Council’s depute leader, councillor Lesley Laird has raised concerns about the latest delay to FIFEplan – the Fife Local Development Plan – and its impact on communities and developers.
She said: “I have written to the Minister for Local Government and Housing, Kevin Stewart MSP, to raise our concerns about the delay to FIFEplan.
“It is already over a year since we submitted it to The Scottish Government’s Planning and Environmental Appeals Division DPEA.
“It wasn’t a surprise that the FIFEplan has gone over the DPEA’s target date of 16 June, 2016 due to the size of Fife, number of settlements and complexity of some of the issues in our community. We have now been informed by the DPEA on three occasions that the examination process has been further extended.
“As well as creating uncertainty for communities and developers alike, the growing timescale for the examination is likely to lead to a significant cost increase for the council, as we are required to bear the cost of the examination. Our current estimate is that the examination may cost up to £180,000, as Reporter time is charged at £400 per day.
“I have asked the Scottish Government, to provide clarity on when the FIFEplan will now be approved, and in view of the significant costs overrun, if it would consider bearing the cost of this examination to avoid it having to be met by Fife council tax payers.”
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