Free Church Site Planning Application Refused

As previously detailed on B.B, the plan to convert this historic site into a private garden and car parking space is controversial and the planning application and listed building consent attracted quite a few objections.

A comprehensive report was prepared by Fife Council officials. This listed the reasons that the application should be refused, including “Impact upon the Setting of a Conservation Area”.

Yesterday councillors on the Central Area Planning Committee voted to go along with the officers’ recommendation by a margin of 9-4.

Local councillor Gordon Langlands (as reported by Emma O’Neill for Kingdom FM) said: “There is a Burntisland heritage trail that passes by – but the society don’t mention it. There are 10 sites of interest and this isn’t one of them. It was a warehouse, then a church, then a cinema, a gym and finally a paint store. It was a church for just 17 years. No one tends to it, there is no maintenance.”

He moved that planning permission be granted, saying: “I believe there is merit and this won’t detract from the historical importance of the site. It will protect the long term maintenance and stability of it.

The applicant now has 3 months to appeal. Perhaps local groups such as the Heritage Trust, Community Council, Parish Church and FAB can work together, along with the site owner (Fife Council) to produce a plan to highlight, promote and enhance this area.

An interpretation panel with information on Burntisland’s religious and church history could be a valuable addition.

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