HOPES that a disputed ‘right of way’ in Cupar could be reinstated look to have been snuffed out.
A pedestrian route linking the top of Sun Close with the Original Factory Shop was blocked off when two new flats were built on the site.
That led to complaints from residents that a historic right of way had been removed from the town.
But Fife Council says the land is private ground — and the developers had every right to block it off.
Richard Simmons, the council’s lead officer for transportation development management, said: “The route that has been barriered off, presumably by the developer, is on private ground and not adopted by Fife Council.
“Pedestrians following the adopted route through Sun Close will still be able to gain access to Burnside via Castlehill.
“I suspect the route across the development site has been used informally for a long time.
“However, as it is not a right of way the landowner could have closed it off at any time.”
Plans for the erection of two flats in Sun Close were approved in September last year.
The application attracted a letter of objection from a member of the public who claimed the development would impinge on a right of way.
However, Fife Council’s planning report stated: “With regard to the objection on rights of way, Sun Close is a pedestrian path but not an established right of way.
“It is clear however that the building will not impinge upon the public footpath.”
Several Fife Herald readers have been in touch to complain since the flats were built, while the issue has also been brought up at meetings of Cupar Community Council.
Guthrie Hutton, chairman of Cupar Heritage, said: “Old maps appear to show an established route running around the back of the old Rodger’s mill building.
“It was a clear through-way that had probably been there for hundreds of years.
“What has been done in the Sun Close has, in effect, altered that.
“However, I don’t know what the legal status of the route is — it is certainly a historical through-way, but whether it is a right of way is another matter.”