Minutes of Meeting held on Wed 13th April 2016 at 7.30pm in Lower Church Hall.

Present:-Messrs. R.Baxter.[Chair], , I.Duncan, D.Gilbert, & S. Younger . Mrs.A. Annandale, B.Lawrie, L.Walker.  Fife Councillors. K.McCartney ,

Apologies:-  Messrs. D.D’Angelis & K.Topping. Mrs. I.Walker.  Fife Councillors F. Melville, D. Morrison & B. Thomson.

Minutes of last meeting:- Approved by B.Lawrie and seconded by D.Gilbert.

Matters arising:-

Kirk & Community - The Chairman reported that Mrs. I. Walker had spoken with Mr. Lawson of the Church Congregational Board to see what assistance the Community Council could offer to ensure that the Newsletter was produced on a regular and timeous basis. The Board is anxious that the publication continues and is working with the editor, Mrs. Duval, to see if a change in the printing process would overcome some of the difficulties in producing the newsletter. They are to monitor the situation over the next few months.  Mrs. L. Walker said that she felt the current situation was quite confusing and far from satisfactory, and hoped that that there would a speedy resolution to the matter. The Chairman reminded villagers that the on-line Village website, , had a diary page , listing  future events and dates. Anyone wishing to publicise an event in the diary should get in touch with Stephen Younger.

Community Trust:- The Secretary confirmed that the BBC TV Beechgrove Garden Autumn Roadshow would be recorded in Strathkinness on  September 29th.

Standing items:-

Police Report:-  No Police officer was available to attend the meeting. The Secretary reported that he and Mrs. I. Walker had been in touch with the Police regarding the recent incidents of petty vandalism in the village. These incidents were being investigated and the Police thanked the residents for reporting the incidents.

Treasurer’s report:-   Mrs. L.Walker reported that the bank balance was currently £570. The financial year had ended on 31st March and she would now be preparing the accounts for the past year for presentation at the AGM.

Village Infrastructure and traffic update:  Councillor Melville had received notification that the replacement “slow down” signs were due to be installed at the lower crossroads during w/c 4th April. It was noted that work had not yet commenced.

Transportation:- The Chairman was pleased to note that the University pipeline work at Guardbridge had been completed ahead of schedule.

Magus Muir:- The Secretary reported that the Community Trust is still awaiting the final purchase details from Fife Council. A meeting with the Area Forestry Commission Officer is scheduled for this week to discuss the future management of the site.

Public Open Space:- It was noted that the Developer’s compound had now  been dismantled.

A.O.C.B. Councillor McCartney intimated that next year marked the 100th anniversary of the death of Open Golf Champion Bob Martin, who resided in Strathkinness. He wondered if the Council might wish to mark the event in some way. The Councillors agreed that the matter should be considered.


At this stage Fife Councillor Keith McCartney withdrew from the meeting.

 Planning:-  Avant Homes Proposed Development.  The Chairman welcomed the large number of objectors to the proposed development and opened the discussion by outlining the objections made by the Community Council to the development.  He noted that the development was for 76 houses of which 34 were to be affordable homes. This included the 16 affordable homes already approved for Fife Council. The remaining site had a recommended total of 40 houses in the local plan and the developer was now seeking to increase that total to 60. The total of 76 houses would be an increase of 20% on the village housing stock. The Chairman felt that this was placing a large dormitory on the outer edge of the village with no improvement to the village infrastructure. The impact on traffic, drainage and schooling would be very significant. He felt that the new site should have no more than 40 houses and, added to the 16 already approved, there would be an opportunity to redesign the layout as a cul de sac, as most of the new developments in the village have been over the past 50 years and remove the need to create the very contentious road connection to Bonfield Park. The adjacent Bonfield Play Park has no drainage system.  The proposed SUDS drainage area for the development is sandwiched between the playpark and houses on Bonfield Road. This is of great concern to the owners of those properties. The potential increase in road traffic would increase the risk factor at the upper crossroads and the developer’s solution for a simple realigning of the white lines seems extremely optimistic. The village primary school is near to capacity and has no space for expansion. The other objectors, primarily from Bonfield Road and Bonfield Park, then had an opportunity to outline their objections and concerns as follows :-

The application is both opportunistic and premature as the need for new houses in the St.Andrews and East Fife Local Plan is currently being met.

The majority of the southern boundary of the proposed development is on Bonfield Road . This section is unadopted and the proposed application shows 2 pedestrian exits from the site. There are no existing pavements on this section.

Bonfield Road has had serious surface water flooding problems over the years. How will the proposed development impact on that situation?

The Village School is close to capacity and the nearest pre-school facility at Lawhead School in St.Andrews is at capacity. What alternatives are to be provided if population increases?

Adjacent Bonfield Park is currently a cul de sac and has no spare car parking capacity.  Any moves to connect a through route to the proposed development would create a dangerous “rat run”. The road into the proposed development should be completed from the High Road end entry point to allow all construction traffic to enter the site from the High Road.

The proposed development indicates very little open space. Who will be responsible for the upkeep of the extensive tree and shrub belt on the site perimeter?  Practical open spaces should be in the central area of the development.

No construction traffic should be used on Bonfield Road.

The Chairman thanked everyone for their contribution and noted that apart from himself, representing the Community Council, Dr. B.Sinclair, Dr. P. Kushner, Dr. C. Harris, Mr. P. Jess and Mr. K. Gray  would be addressing the pre-determination hearing on the 19th April at 6.30pm in the Village Hall.

An application to erect a 2 storey house at 10a Bonfield Road was noted.  Mrs. Hunter of 10 Bonfield Road had registered an objection to the proposed development and sought the support of the Community Council. After due consideration, the Community Council decided not to oppose the application. It had not objected to the previous application, now lapsed, to develop the site in 2008 and there had been no change in their views subsequently.

It was noted that the application for the proposed extension at 66 Main Street had been approved.

Next meeting:- Will be on Wednesday 11th May 2016 in Church Hall at 7.30pm