Residents in Leven have been stopped in their tracks by a letter from Fife Council claiming they have been parking illegally at their homes.
Around 40 householders in the town’s Mountfleurie area received the shock note in mid-January, giving them three months to provide proper access to their driveways – by lowering the kerb so they were not driving unlawfully across the pavement when entering and leaving.
Affected householders are being asked to pay £108 for planning permssion – and to pay for the work themselves.
Fife Council said it was responding to complaints from residents about households with planks of wood or metal ramps outside their driveways, where the kerb was of regular height.
Areas of Lawrence Drive, Christie Avenue, McIntosh Crescent, and surrounding streets were affected.
The authority claims the makeshift ramps caused gulleys to flood and damage to pavements.
A group of residents attended last Monday’s meeting of Leven Community Council to express their views.
Some said it was a “rat run” between Diageo and Glenlyon Road, while frequent congestion near Mountfleurie Primary School caused problems for council lorries, buses and emergency vehicles.
This could be worse, they said, if residents had to carry out kerbside alterations.
One resident in Lawrence Drive said she was “gobsmacked” to receive a letter.
The correspondence came from Sandy Dall, roads network management.
He referred them to the Roads (Scotland) Act 1984 which covers access.
“Vehicles have been driven across the road verge or footway other than by way of a satisfactory vehicular crossing,” said the letter.
“No permission has been granted for this by assets, transportation and environmental services’’
The document added: “I serve notice on you (under the act) to construct a vehicular crossing in accordance with the attached construction standards within three months of the date of this letter.
‘‘Please remove any temporary ramps immediately.
“Any claims for damage or injury to pedestrians or road users will be forwarded to yourselves until works are undertaken and completed to the satisfaction of Fife Council transportation and environmental services.” The letter was accompanied by a planning application form.
However, local councillor Tom Adams said: “It’s all a case of heavy-handedness and bureaucracy. It’s bureaucracy gone mad.”
As more questions were raised about which house types were affected and if the notice could lawfully be enforced, the community council decided to hold a meeting this coming Monday and ask transportation officials along to discuss the issue.
After providing the council with a series of questions over the reasons for the letters, FifeToday received this response on Monday from David Brown, service manager: “We issued nearly 40 legal notices to properties in the Mountfleurie area due to problems caused by illegal driveways.
“Recently, we received complaints about flooding in Mountfleurie. This was due to ramps blocking drainage channels on the road.
“Illegal driveways also damage pavements and utility services lying beneath the pavement. We’re asking residents to follow the proper process, by asking for permission and having their pavements lowered and strengthened.”