The long-running saga over the future of a listed building that was the subject of an eight-year legal battle has taken a bizarre new twist.
The fate of the C-listed property at 222 High Street, Leslie, in the heart of the town’s conservation area, was sealed in December 2014 when a Scottish Government appointed reporter decided in favour of Fife Council who had sought a compulsory purchase order (CPO) on the property since 2006.
Since then the house, which has lain in a derelict state for a number of years, has had it’s windows boarded up, but little else.
But last week a bizarre hand written and framed notice (see below) has been nailed to the property calling on the public to urge the new owners to do more.
Written as if the building was speaking, it call up on the current owners - Fife Council to do more to find a family to take on the property and restore it to that of a functioning home once again.
And the mystery posting, the obvious result of some joker among the town’s residents has certainly got the locals speculating just who is behind the prank.
Brian Coyle, a Bowery resident close to 222 High street said the notice had become the talk of the town in recent days.
“Everyone I bump into has their own take on the notice and who may be responsible for it, “ Mr Coyle told the gazette.
“What’s more there are a number of other dilapidated and derelict properties that are in urgent need of attention and could do with a similar notice attached,” he added.
However the prank notice has been dismissed by the property’s previous owner John Mowbray, who told the Gazette the posting was “patently rubbish and nonsensical”.
“I’m aware of the notice and to be honest can’t make any sense of it, there are some claims within it that I also consider unfounded,” said Mr Mowbray.
What the note said:
“I am in great despair, my previous owner could not manage me for some reason, when Fife Council took me over I was in ecstacy.
“I could not contain myself with glee, with all the facilities they have, I had full confidence that things would change, and be put on the market for a family to purchase me and have all the redemial work done to me.
“The thought of the patter/pitter of tiny feet on my stairs, even the sound of a baby’s cry, with little faces at my windows, dreams of a nice garden with children playing therein, what a prospect.
“But alas it seems they are dragging their feet, and are making little or no effect on my behalf.
“The enquiries made as to why the delay about my state and I quote we don’t know what we will do with the building is it not obvious, people need homes and buildings under Council ownership need to be used, and not be left to waste away like me, it seems the Council are like wheel barrows, there no good unless there pushed. I call upon all residents to give them a good push so they be forced into action, and drag me out of despair.”