When I was asked by a group of investors at the end of 2018 to look into the possibility of developing the site at Prestonhill Quarry, I imagined that it would be a straightforward task and no more complicated than the development of any other site.
How wrong can one man be!
It is hard to imagine any other piece of land anywhere in Scotland stimulating so much passion in the community or creating such a polarisation of opinion. Beneath all its breath-taking beauty of the Quarry, lies a sadness which demands sensitivity and full respect for the community which has had to endure troubled times.
Consequently, as the planned development process evolves, the deep-rooted feelings of the community will always be to the fore of our thinking.
Our aim is quite simple.
We are planning a development of quality housing which when coupled with a wide range of community benefits will enhance the greater Inverkeithing area.
Most importantly, having undertaken a detailed topographical study of the Quarry we are extremely mindful of the natural contours and green areas.
An initial Ecological Study was carried out some time ago and we are in the process of having that refreshed and updated.
A detailed transportation study, an environmental impact study, full flood risk assessment, acoustic analysis and an extensive landscape report are all in the process.
You may be aware that our current thinking is to seek planning permission to build 135 private houses and build 45 affordable homes in conjunction with a highly reputable housing association.
It is important to put this in context.
The last planning application on the Quarry sought to build 380 houses on the site.
Striking the balance between the paramount issue of the long-term safety of everyone, maximising the community benefits and maintaining commercial viability continues to be the challenge.
We will never be able to please everyone all of the time.
All I can promise is that we will be as inclusive as possible.