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Issue 23 - February 2014

posted 9 Feb 2014, 16:56 by Ian Holmes-Lewis   [ updated 6 Feb 2015, 11:16 ]

Community Council Matters 

A better attended Council meeting held on Tuesday 26 January managed to provoke considerable debate on several issues with consensus on all key issues. Some aspects are reported in more detail elsewhere in this Bulletin. In particular, see the article about recent wind turbine applications.


David Chisholm was invited to take up the current vacancy on the Community Council. David accepted the invitation and will be an invaluable recruit. Peter Ball and Jim Currie agreed to join as non-voting members and will bring additional expertise to the table.

The following were elected as office bearers:
Chair: John Crane
Vice Chair: David Chisholm
Secretary: Muriel Phillips
Treasurer: Marie Crane
Minute Secretary: Donald Murdoch
Trustees to Community Development Trust: Marie Crane and Donald Murdoch.

All the above appointments were proposed, seconded and agreed in accordance with the Community Council's constitution. (See the official minute for full details) 

Bonfire Night

There is unlikely to be an event this year as no-one has volunteered to organise it. John and Marie Crane have slaved religiously on our behalf for many years but can no longer carry on. They are, however, willing to give advice so surely there must a few people out there who could form a group to ensure that this popular event continues.

Police Community Engagement Meetings

Jillian Neill has returned as our local sergeant and is supported by PCs Gillian Wilson and Ian Rushford. Community Engagement meetings are held every two months in Oakley and are open to all in the community. These meetings are arranged by the Community Police in order for members of the public to come and discuss matters of concern. The police are keen to maintain good relations with the community and the Community Council feels that there is scope to develop links for reporting and feedback via the Community Web Site. The Communications Group has been asked to lead on this.

All meetings will be held in the Oakley Community Centre at 7 pm on the following dates:

Thursday 20 March
Thursday 22 May
Thursday 24 July
Thursday 11 September
Thursday 13 November

Marie Crane (Tel: 852698) would be happy to provide lifts to any folk from the Saline area who would like to attend any of these meetings.

Fife Local Development Plan

Fife Council has been consulting on the Housing Strategy for the West Fife aspects of the wider needs of the Edinburgh City Region. This dramatically increases the number of houses to be provided over the next 10 or so years. For West Fife, the proposed strategy is to develop major sites in Dunfermline and Lochgelly, and on main transportation corridors. For our area, housing is meant to be for local needs and the Community Council found it strange that a site on West Road, opposite the hotel site, has been identified as a “suitable alternative” to the preferred sites elsewhere. This site is identified as having potential for 200 units and, given the number of sites already in the village, the poor road system and lack of facilities, the Community Council is concerned about the impact of such a large expansion. It has therefore written to Fife Council to object to this aspect of its Plan.

Drainage at Recycling Area

A number of residents have complained that flooding at the car park at recycling area next to the bus turning circle is creating problems. The Community Council agreed to contact Fife Council and SEPA to examine the need for better drainage of this area.

Subsidence on A823

This seems to be escalating with potential financial problems for Fife Council. The Community Council is concerned about the lack of progress and a specific problem of drivers emptying ash trays and waste bins at the traffic lights. While there is sympathy for the Council’s plight, the Community Council feels that it is imperative that this important road is fully reopened. It therefore intends to contact our local parliamentary representatives to lobby for funds to be made available. Fife Council is also to be asked to address the litter issue

Christmas Tree 2014

Thanks to the efforts of Jim Hensman and the gift of a tree by Jim Evans, Saline had a Christmas tree in 2013. Many people suggested the planting of a living tree. Saline Church’s Congregational Board has agreed for one to be planted in a prominent site in the Church grounds and Jim Hensman has offered to ask Jim Evans if he can possibly supply one. Well done to all concerned.

Community Council Meetings

Everyone is reminded that Community Council meetings are open to everyone and that visitors are welcome to contribute to discussions. Meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month at 7.30 in the Saline Community Centre. At least one of our elected councillors attends, which is an opportunity to keep up on what is happening within Fife Council. It has also been agreed that the seating should be rearranged to make the meetings even more informal. Why not take advantage of this opportunity to participate?

Copies of Community Council minutes can be inspected on both our own Saline and Steelend, and the West Fife Villages web sites.

Saline & Blairingone Church News 

Unfortunately, due to unforeseen circumstances, the Scots Night planned for 25 January had to be cancelled, but a Quiz Night with light refreshments is planned for Friday 28 February at 7.30 pm in the Church Hall. We will be playing in teams so take the chance to make a team with some friends. Folk on their own will be very welcome too - teams can be formed on the night. Further details will be available from Ann Easton or Ada Cooper.

A number of other fund-raising events are planned for the rest of the year and will be posted on the Church and village websites as soon as details are confirmed. Plans include a Table Top Sale in the Church Hall; Prize Bingo at Steelend Club, a Fun Day in the Church grounds, a Garden Party at Carradale House, sale of surplus garden produce, and a Ceilidh in the Community Centre. The Tabletop Sale is planned for Saturday 15 March in the Church Hall from 10.00 am. Any group or individual in the village are welcome to take a table for a donation of £5 - further profit will be for their own use. Refreshments will be on sale. Please contact Cathie Hall to book a table.

The International World Day of Prayer is celebrated annually on the first Friday in March which falls on 7 March this year. The service, compiled by a different country each year, is used all over the world by all sorts of groups on or near that date. This year, the theme of the service is 'Streams in the Desert' and was compiled by a group of women from Egypt. A number of services are being arranged in the Dunfermline area. Members of Saline and Blairingone Parish Church are again joining with members of Carnock and Oakley Parish Church and those from the Church of the Holy Name to celebrate the day. The service will be held in Oakley Church at 7.30 pm on Friday 7 March. Members of churches of any denomination will be very welcome. 

Of Local Concern 

The local police have received recent complaints regarding the land to the north of Main Street, Saline. This land is owned by Bandron Limited, with planning permission held to build upon the land. There have now been a number of incidents involving deliberate damage to the fences, built and maintained by Bandron Ltd. 

You may well recall that there were numerous objections to this planning application when it was originally submitted in 2002 as this land has long been used by locals as a common walkway.

The company have no objection to people walking on the land at this time; however, they do request that respect be shown in relation to the property and care taken around the fences which are in place. There may well be horses placed in the field in the near future and the fences are required to ensure the security and control of any animals placed within the field. Please continue to enjoy this area responsibly.

This information was passed to the Editor by PC Wilson of Police Scotland (West Fife & Coastal Villages Ward) at Oakley Police Station. 

Don’t forget – if you have things you want to promote on the community website,
contact Ian Holmes-Lewis on 851 855 or  

Dog Fouling 

The Community Council have received a number of complaints concerning dog fouling. Of particular concern were reports of dog fouling in the vicinity of Saline School.

It is an offence not to appropriately dispose of any excrement immediately after a dog has fouled in a public place. You can report someone for not cleaning up after their dog by telephoning 03451 55 00 22 or writing to Fife Council, Forth House, Abbotshall Road, Kirkcaldy, KY1 1RU. If the problem persists and the dog owner cannot be identified, please contact a member of the Community Council.

Wind Turbines

Yet another two applications for large wind turbines to be erected in the Saline area have been submitted to Fife Council.

Application reference 13/02440/FULL applies to a 54.7m turbine (about 180 ft) to be located 350m east of Muirside of Kinneddar Farm, south of Kinneddar Park. The folk at Kinneddar Park and Cowstrandburn are the communities closest to this new landscape feature that will complement the stark, redundant ruins of the Blair House opencast site. Members of the public can object or approve of this application either on line through Fife Direct or by e-mail to for the attention of Mr David Shankland, or by letter to: Mr David Shankland, Enterprise Planning & Protective Services, Kingdom House, Kingdom Avenue, Glenrothes, KY7 5LY.

Our second turbine application is for a monster 126.5m (414 ft) to be located on the edge of our parish at Bogside Farm. This application is a replacement for a smaller planned turbine that was approved by Fife Council but was never constructed. (Why?) In view of the size and the impact of this structure on folk living on the south and west sides of Saline, the community council have requested the developer to provide a public presentation of this application in the Saline Community Centre. Members of the public can object or approve of this application either on line through Fife Direct or by e-mail to for the attention of Mr Darren O'Hare, or by letter to Mr Darren O'Hare, Enterprise Planning & Protective Services, Kingdom House, Kingdom Avenue, Glenrothes, KY7 5LY. 

Entertainment At Saline Golf Club 

Do you want to enjoy a nice night out in pleasant company? Well, the answer might be to come along to Saline Golf Club’s Whist Night. This is held every second Wednesday in the month starting at 7.30 pm. 

The next one is on 12 February. You don’t have to be an accomplished player to enjoy yourself and you will be made welcome by the regulars. It’s all fun and no-one takes themselves seriously. Light refreshments are provided as part of the nominal entry charge.

If you are interested and want more details, contact June Ilderton on  853 653

All contributions for inclusion in the Bulletin are welcome and should be submitted to Jacquie Clapperton on or by telephoning 852 367

Oakley Road Affordable Housing Initiative Receives Conditional Approval 

The need for additional affordable housing in Saline was identified by many of the households who participated in the Community Futures survey back in 2011 and it became one of the priorities in our Community Action Plan. Consequently, many people will welcome the news that Fife Council’s West Planning Committee has given Conditional Approval to Kingdom Housing Association’s application to build between 50 and 55 homes on the land on Oakley Road to the south of the park. If implemented the development will provide a mixture of flats and houses for rent and shared ownership.

For those who aren’t aware, the site was among a number identified in a housing study commissioned by the Community Council and Saline Environmental Group some years ago, but it had not been included in the Local Plan and is currently used for grazing. In reaching their decision the Committee had to consider whether the development met the criterion under Local Plan Policy E16, ‘Housing in the Countryside’. The Committee Report states 'Fife Council Housing Services supports the development', going on to say that ‘Saline has an unusually low level of affordable housing within the wider context of West Fife’ and confirming that ‘the quantum of new affordable units proposed would be a welcome means of addressing this shortfall’.

Final Approval is subject to a detailed planning application being submitted demonstrating that the 26 Conditions set out in the report will be met. Whilst many of the Conditions are ‘standard or procedural’, several of them reflect practical concerns that local residents have raised, particularly in relation to the impact of the development on roads, infrastructure and drainage, and also about 'design quality'.

Fife Council's Transportation Development Team, when modelling transport impacts, has assessed the Transport Statement submitted as part of the application which has also taken into account the possible development site across Oakley Road. They accept that even if both developments are implemented, the existing road network can accommodate the increase in traffic. They also acknowledge that there is reasonable pedestrian and cycle access both into the village centre and to the primary school. They also support the proposal that the existing 20mph speed limit on Oakley Road should be extended to a point beyond the site, closer to the sharp bends. A Traffic Order will be required from the South West Area Committee.

A number of people raised concerns regarding flooding and drainage. Policy 14 of the Adopted Local Plan deals with the possibility of increasing the risk of flooding by reducing the capacity of flood storage or conveying areas through the discharge of additional surface water, and Policy 15 that proposals involving surface water run-off will only be supported where a Sustainable Urban Drainage System (SUDS) is provided. This section of the report concludes by saying that 'the proposals can accord with the prescriptions of Policies 14 and 15'. It is also noted that 'the pronounced fall of the site from north east to south west toward Bluther Burn would appear to lend itself to the construction of an appropriate SUDS feature in this corner of the site'.

But perhaps the greatest concern that people have is about the appearance and layout of the new development. What form and style will the new homes have and what materials will be used? Conditions 1 and 2 set out a comprehensive list of drawings and other information that will have to be provided before final approval can be given and construction can start. These include the provision of a development framework for the whole site that incorporates a landscape framework, a drainage strategy, a design framework and a public art strategy.

Most significantly, under Condition 6 the developer is required to provide a 'character study' - 'an analysis of Saline vernacular buildings that can be used as a reference point to assess the appropriateness of any subsequent house designs that are proposed'. The report goes on to say that the reason for this is to 'ensure a responsive and robust design framework is created for the site and to ensure high quality and co-ordinated design and development'. It will important that local people, particularly those with an interest in the history and heritage of Saline, be involved in the preparation of the character study. There are also references to the Scottish Government's Architecture and Place Policy and specifically the 'Designing Streets' guidance with which the developer is expected to comply.

Condition 14 is particularly interesting in that it requires the developer to provide a 3m wide shared footway/cycleway parallel to Oakley Road from the southern boundary of the site to the park vehicular entrance near the junction with Eastercraig Gardens. There is a second requirement to create a similar path across the park from Upper Kinneddar down to the new housing. Both requirements overlook the fact that the park is not in the developer's ownership but it is hoped that they will be able to work with Fife Council to deliver the paths.

This development is possibly unique in that both the importance of providing affordable housing in Saline and the site, which is outside the 'village envelope' and currently in agricultural use, but now endorsed as being eminently suitable for new homes, were identified by local people. It is essential that the community remains involved in this initiative and works constructively with Kingdom Housing Association, Fife Council and other parties to deliver a development of the very highest quality. 

Saline to Oakley Path 

Many people will have been disappointed that construction of the first phase of the Saline to Oakley path, for which Lottery funding had been obtained, could not be carried out last October because of a dispute between the Forestry Commission, over whose land a significant section of the path passes, and their contractor for the Muirside Estate. This prevented Fife Council having access to the land. The contractual dispute has still not been resolved but there is a determination to find a way around the problem (no pun intended) particularly as the path is seen as a key element in the West Fife Projects Group's 'String of Pearls' initiative - a route across West Fife from Kincardine to Kelty which can be used by walkers, cyclists and riders, linking up places of natural, historical and cultural interest. This ambitious project is still at the feasibility stage but money has been obtained from the Big Lottery Investing in Ideas Fund to develop the proposal. The Saline & Steeend Community Development Trust has asked Saline and Steelend Community Council to represent the community at Project Group meetings. The Community Council has also asked the Trust to approach the Big Lottery Fund about submitting a new application for money for the Saline to Oakley path.

The role of the Trust is to encourage individuals and local groups to get to together to undertake projects which assist in delivering the Community Action Plan priorities. If you have a particular area of interest and want to become involved email

Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust 

Saline and Steelend Community Development Trust will be holding its first AGM on Thursday 6 March at 7.30pm in Saline Community Centre. At the AGM the initial Trustees who have served since the Trust was registered last June will stand down and new Trustees will be elected by the members. If you would like to become a member and participate in electing new Trustees please email .

Laird of Steelend 

Bert Allan, known in his early days as the Laird of Steelend, was awarded the BEM in the New Year Honours List for his charitable work. Bert, who was born and raised in Steelend and attended Inzievar School, started his career in entertainment as a singer on the pub and club circuit but he soon developed his comedy routine.

He started work in the mining industry on leaving school. In his youth he was also the goalkeeper for Stenhousemuir FC and had the honour of being picked to play for his country.

It was in about 1979 when the Saline School PTA organised a fund raising "cabaret" evening in the Community Centre. Various local folk performed but Bert was the star of the show. If anyone moved to go to the toilet or to the bar during his act, Bert would invariably subject that individual to a tirade of hilarious abuse. Very funny for the audience but extremely embarrassing for the individual. This still happens and folk from Steelend have told me that they dare not move whilst Bert is on stage.

Bert, who now lives in Lochgelly, is one of the most prolific after dinner speakers and comedians on the circuit, and has been in the business now for half a century. We congratulate Bert on his well earned award and wish him all success for the next 50 years.

John Crane 

Letter to the Editor

Dear Community Bulletin [and Community Council],

Dog muck continues to be an underfoot problem on Saline's village footways. Returning to school on 21 Oct 13, the 140 or so children attending Saline PS and the 60 or so attendant teachers / staff / parents / grandparents / carers and the like were met with conscious fouling of the routes to school by faeces in Oaklea, Eastercraig Gdns, Oakley Rd and Main St. These are the streets that our child and myself travelled, so other places may have been affected. Certainly in discussion with almost every person that I met, including many dog owners, there was a universal consensus that the problems were real, evident and deliberate. Some of the deposits on Oakley Rd remained almost undecayed, just to the north of the BT cabinet, into 2014. Others were tramped underfoot into the school no doubt, and into cars, homes and on clothes, and no doubt other parts of Fife !

The same issues had been met with after the 2013 summer school holidays, and ongoing reference to Fife Council had resulted in the, initially small, 'Wanted' posters being replaced by items more likely to feature in a 'tall ships race'. Everyone felt a little self-conscious about the 'nasty', say, or unreasonable focus on dog-owners. Some dog-owners said the banners were 'just', and 'not before time, necessary'. They knew of people who have even made the regular dog-walking tracks and 'zones' unwalkable. If that is indeed a descriptive word for such.

It is a conscious and deliberate, possibly illegal thing to do, to let your dog out of the house unattended, or to be with your dog and let it foul in places which you know will cause difficulty, danger and expense, to others. All dog-owners must know that the animal's natural processes will occur ??

Now here we are in 2014, proper, and back to school on 6 Jan14. Our 'friend'[s] have deliberately allowed the Oakley Rd footway to be fouled in at least 3 places. 2 of these deposits from the same animal, presumably animal, have been trafficked 'up and down' over 3 consecutive days such that it is probably impossible to avoid contamination of various footwear and the school floors and fittings. 400 feet in the morning, 400 at night, and others ! Takes some doing, that level of social contact every day. We are close to the Church, so perhaps Mr or Mrs Conscious thinks we should turn the other 'cheek' !

Am I a dog-lover or a dog-hater ? Neither, but if I was a dog owner I would look after my pet. I do not fling beer bottles over my shoulder as I walk in Saline, nor out of my car windows, if you see what I mean ? Am I qualified to comment ? Well after almost 28 years in the village with 18 spent on school board, community council and golf club treasure, and with 'care for the community', I think I may be. In 1985 and on, with 24 youngsters in our little cul-de-sac alone, we had to combat a serious dog muck issue for about 5 years until the village was 'clean'. Sadly, over the last 5 years we see a return to indiscriminate [hopefully so !] conscious antisocial behaviour. However, the necessary legislation is now in place.

Yours, with stamina ! Tommy Davidson.

Forthcoming Meetings & Events: 

Saline Primary School
Inset Day: Wednesday 12 February
Mid-Term Holidays: 13-14 February
Spring Church Service: 9.30-10.30 am, 28th March, Saline Church
Spring Holiday: 3.00 pm, 28 March until Friday 11 April inclusive
Good Friday Holiday: 18 April

Steelend Miners Social Club
Domino & pool competitions, Friday 9.00pm
Pilates, every Monday 6.15pm-7.00pm
Zumba, every Monday 7.00pm-8.00pm 
Sambangra Drumming, every Tuesday 7.00pm-8pm £2
Curry Night: 12 April, £10
Children's Disco and Hat Competition: 17 April
Ladies Night: 9 May
Prize Bingo: 19 June
Psychic Night: Date to be confirmed
Please note that the Steelend Gala Day is 2 August. 

Every Thursday 6.00-7.30pm
Saline Church Hall
Every Thursday 7.30pm-9.00pm
Saline Church Hall 

116th Fife Scout Group
Beaver Colony
Every Friday, 6pm-7.30 pm
Cub Pack
Every Thursday, 6.30pm-8pm
Scout Troop
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9pm
Explorer Unit
Every Thursday, 7.30pm-9pm
The Group meets in Carnock Community Centre, Camps Road, Carnock. 
Open to both boys and girls 

Highland Dancing Classes
Tuesdays 4.00pm-5.00pm
Saline Church Hall
Thursdays 6.30pm-8.00pm
Saline Church Session Room 

Adult Badminton
Mondays 7.45pm
Wednesday 1.30pm and 7.30pm
Saline Community Centre
Beginners welcome 

Saline Smilers (Toddler Group)
Tuesdays 9.30am-11.30am during school terms
Saline Community Centre 

Craft and Chatter
Thursdays 10.00am-12.00 noon
Last Friday of month 7.00-9.00pm
Shieldbank Coffee Shop 

Sambangra Drumming Group
Tuesdays, 7.00-8.30pm, £2
Steelend Club

Heritage Society
Margaret Dean, The Lord Lieutenant of Fife – The Queen’s Representative
Wednesday 26 February
7.00 for 7.30pm, Saline Church Hall 

Community Council Meeting
Tuesday 25 February
7.30 pm, Saline Community Centre 

Saline, Steelend & District SWRI
Presentation from Colin Scholes of Solsgirth Woodcrafts
Wednesday 5 March
7.15pm, Saline Community Centre 

Saline Golf Club Coffee Morning & Easter Bonnet Competition
Saturday 19 April, 10.30 am
Adults Section & Children's Section, 12 years & under 

Line Dance Classes
Monday 10.00 am - 11.00 am
Friday 10.00 am - 11.00 am
Saline Community Centre

This Community Bulletin is produced by Saline and Steelend Communications Group 

The Editor reserves the right to refuse, edit or factually correct all items submitted for publication. All views expressed in this Bulletin are purely those of the author of the item concerned and are not necessarily those of the Editor or of the Communications Group as a whole.