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2010/11 Season News

Planning Objection

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Planning Objection

PostedJanuary 20, 2011

Following reports in the local press, Cowdenbeath Football Club can confirm that it wrote to Fife Council on 17th December 2010 to formally object to the proposed planning permission in principle for the development of a class 1 retail unit (4,300 sqm gross) at North End Park, High Street, Cowdenbeath (10/02990/PPP).

Cowdenbeath Football Club has been developing its own proposals over a considerable period through the recognised process of the Mid Fife Local Plan. It is our belief that the Central Park site proposal provides the best solution for the regeneration of Cowdenbeath town centre through the development of a major food retail facility which has the potential to provide many jobs locally and support the retail function of the High Street, and the provision of substantial new housing opportunities. It can also secure the long-term future of senior football in the town, and the promotion of sport in general, through the development of a new community stadium which is fit for professional football in the 21st century and also provides first class facilities for learning, training and hospitality.

It is our aim to see Cowdenbeath Football Club restored to the heart of the community and playing a significant role in the economic, social and environmental regeneration of the town. We share the vision for a vibrant and economically diverse Cowdenbeath and, to this end, it is our intention to continue to work with the local community, Fife Council and other stakeholders to further develop our proposals. A Proposal of Application Notice has been lodged and proposals are currently being prepared for community consultation and a formal submission to the Council.

The benefits of the redevelopment of Central Park, along with any other potential alternative sites, should be considered alongside the current application before any planning permission is granted.

The reasons for our objection to the North End Park proposal are summarised below:

Planning Policy

The application is contrary to the Mid Fife Local Plan. The Mid Fife Local Plan identifies the Central Park site for a mixed use redevelopment scheme and it has been accepted that food retail will form the major part of any such redevelopment. The Central Park redevelopment brings with it the potential of a new community football stadium, High Street regeneration and substantial additional new housing stock. Further, a PAN application has been submitted for this proposal and it would seem premature in the extreme to consider alternative applications at this stage.

The required sequential testing has not been undertaken and there is no recognition of existing redevelopment opportunities.These basic omissions should be addressed and the statement re-submitted outlining in detail sequential testing carried out, accurately stating what alternative sites were considered, whether they are suitable or are available, and why the application site should be considered in preference to the location already identified in the Local Plan.

Community Consultation

The Club would suggest that the questions asked would always result in a positive community response and failed to place the proposals in the wider context. No mention was made of alternative proposals, the preferred retail solution as detailed in the Local Plan, or the implications for the community should the presented proposals be adopted. The conclusions presented in support of this application should not therefore be read as an endorsement of the proposals when assessed against the wider context, merely a positive response to the narrow focus of questions asked.

Click here to view the full letter submitted to Fife Council by Donald Findlay QC, Chairman, on behalf of Cowdenbeath Football Club. You can also record your objection or support for the North End Park proposal via this link.

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