RELIEVED home owners in Lochgelly have welcomed a decision by Fife Council not to pass on to them the outstanding debts of their house builder.
Lomond Homes went into administration in January this year, having failed to honour Section 75 agreements with the Council, which require financial contributions to be made for amenities and local services.
The payments were due on developments at New Farm Vale in Lochgelly and two developments in Blairhall, and legally, as they burden the land, the house owners could have been held liable for the money owed.
At New Vale Farm, that would have meant the 65 households paying £4615 each to cover the £300,000 debt.
However, the Council’s executive committee unanimously supported a motion by Lochgelly councillor, Mark Hood, that individual householders should not be held liable for Lomond Homes’ financial obligations.
Ian Brown, chairman of New Farm Vale Residents Association, said everyone was relieved and happy with the decision, and they were very grateful for the support of their local councillors – Mark Hood, Linda Erskine and Ian Chisholm
He said: “The outcome is the important thing.
‘‘We were innocent victims.
‘‘This is something which should have been foreseen.
“We are also delighted that measures are being put in place to prevent other people ending up in the same situation.”
Homeowner Rosemary Rahi added: “I know legally we could have been held responsible, but morally, I think justice has been done.”
And Avril Scott, secretary of the association, said: “I know there were a lot of worried people in the area and they are going to be mightily relieved.”
Cllr Hood said Lomond Homes had repeatedly failed to honour its legal and moral obligations to both the council and the people who bought new homes in good faith.
Now the company was in administration, he said it was extremely unlikely the council would recover any money.
Cllr Hood added: “Council officers worked in good faith with the company in a difficult economic climate and tried to be flexible to support a local business and local jobs.
‘‘But we all acknowledge that there are lessons to be learned from the way the case was handled.
“The home owners were caught up in an extremely stressful situation through no fault of their own.”