Change to Cupar park backed

The Haugh culvert
The Haugh culvert

Plans to open up the culvert through the Haugh Park in Cupar have been backed in principle by the town’s community council.

It was last March that barriers went up around a large hole that appeared on the paved path that runs from the Burnside entrance to the River Eden.

It is thought the damage may have been caused by severe flooding in December 2012, which resulted in a blockage, with part of the culvert being blown out.

The collapsed section of the culvert is also next to the popular new play area in the park.

While councillors backed the idea of revealing the burn, there were concerns for the safety of children - and the elderly - with fairly steep banks a possibility.

Fife Council parks department official Alan Bisset said engineers had considered options following the collapse, with the favoured being to open up the culvert as a waterway.

Pointing out that the proposal was still at the concept stage, he said there were likely to be a few bridges and some planting.

Council member Andy Collins, who was told that the banks would fall 1.2 metres, wondered if a shallow drop could be created, rather than just straight-sided banks.

Fellow member, Ed Cook, referred to the proximity of the play area and feared for the safety of a child if he or she managed to run away from their parents.

Mr Bisset said: “This is something that we will have to look at - maybe some fencing would be suitable.

“At this stage it is a concept design so we’ve still to look at the detail.”

Acting chairman Robert Graham was worried about the volume of water running through the park in extreme conditions, fearing it could prove an attraction to some. Mr Bisset said engineers would investigate.

The possibility of opening up the culvert was mooted last summer, at a meeting between local Fife councillors and officials, at which it was felt that the idea would enhance the park.

The community council is to be consulted again when three-dimensional designs are available.