Dunfermline Eastern Expansion comes to historic part of city! Do you want this on your street?

View of the proposed building from the junction with Thistle Street

Good news to start 2009

The developers appealed to the Scottish Government about the rejection of their scheme by the City of Dunfermline Area Committee, and the matter was determined by an independent Inquiry Reporter. The notification letter dated 30 December said “I am informing you that the above mentioned appeal has been dismissed by the Reporter and that planning permission has been refused”. Great news!

See this link for information about the process, and for notes about the decision letter, and this link for the current status on the site and our ongoing campaign to prevent an inappropriate development on this prime site.


View of the proposed building from lower down Townhill Road

These pictures are an attempt to illustrate the enormous visual impact that the proposed development would have on the surroundings. The animation shows the view before and after the proposed build. As far as possible, we have shown a true indication of scale, based on the height of the existing wall. Naturally the proposal does not contain any professional artist’s impression. We wonder why!

The plan is for 15 flats in five three-storey blocks, four of which are positioned along the Townhill Road frontage, with the fifth behind. There is parking for 30 cars, with an entrance off Methven Drive. The position of the proposed development can be seen on Flash Earth at http://tinyurl.com/24e54e: the cross-hair targets the house, and you can zoom in. The picture was taken in winter, when the poplars were bare, but their shadow across the road is clearly visible.

The proposed set of flats would be three storeys high – 1m higher than the existing two-storey house – and would occupy almost the whole length of the property (50m) as far as the back lane to Witch Brae.

The bulk of the building lies closer to the road than the local building lines (shown in magenta), and almost lies within the existing garden area, which makes it easier to envisage.

The height of the building in relation to the bungalows opposite is shown in the cross-sectional drawing at this link. But this relates only to the main ridge line, and not the corner towers, where the walls are 80cm higher than the main wall, with pinnacles 2.5m above the ridge.

Plan of the locality, showing an outline of the proposed building relative to the plot

This out-of-scale building, with its unsympathetic modern design, would change the look of the whole neighbourhood. Main concerns would be:

  • The height of the development (11m to the ridge), which is far higher than other properties in Townhill Road. The flats would be visible from Christie Street once intervening cypresses have been removed, and would be an intrusive landmark at the top of the brae.
  • The design and materials are totally out of keeping with other local buildings, which is contrary to parts of the Dunfermline and the Coast Local Plan. This is supported by letters from the Scottish Civic Trust.
  • Increased traffic from users of the 30 car spaces, with the exit close to the blind summit at the Thistle Street junction, and with an adverse impact on street parking.

We note that, further up Townhill Road, earlier development on a plot of similar overall size, though of different aspect ratio, succeeded in creating a much better blend with its surroundings.


A much more sympathetic development further up Townhill Road

We regret that we can no longer illustrate the proposed building with an extract from the proposal. However, the drawings are available on-line at this link, and you can see the proposed elevation at http://tinyurl.com/ynwtmw.




37 Townhill Road is not the only site on which developers are seeking to maximise their profit by high density development. The folk in Park Avenue were faced with two developments within the garden of Comely Park House, one of which would have formed a four-storey eyesore on the North-East corner.

We were delighted that, at their meeting on 31 March, the Planning Committee decided against the application. The papers for that meeting and details of their discussion are available at this link: scroll down to the very bottom of that page.

Regretfully, the developers decided to appeal against this decision, naturally choosing the summer period to do this, which is what also happened to us! The site visit by the Inquiry Reporter duly took place on 10 September and the appeal has been dismissed, for the reasons given in this decision letter. Great news!

A total of five new applications have been submitted for a revised proposal that divides the existing house into two dwellings, with two new houses to the north of the site and a third to the east: follow the links from this page to the individual drawings.


The first sign of anything happening was the disappearance of the trees within the boundary of the property at 37 Townhill Road, which was carefully timed just before the submission of the application by the developers . . .

Click here for more about the trees . . .