THE group behind ambitious plans to improve a Lower Largo car park and toilet block says it has been given a ‘glimmer’ of hope following discussions with Fife Council.
Largo Area Community Council’s Temple car park project committee had said only last month its £100,000 upgrade plan looked likely to be cancelled over a funding row with the local authority.
However the project committee and council met for emergency talks, with chair Irene Kay revealing discussions were positive. She said: “We are not walking away and Fife Council is not walking away.
“What we talked about was looking for common ground. The council suggested working together and liaising with other groups such as the Fife Coast and Countryside Trust as there would be an advantage in the three of us working together to see if we could jointly bid for funding.”
The community council’s plan for the toilet block and car park includes the car park being re-surfaced, disabled toilets being installed, and a sheltered area being created along with new lighting and seating.
It took almost two years for the community council to finalise its blueprint, after having to scale back on ambition due to local opposition, but it was only a month ago when it ran into real trouble with both groups reaching stalemate over who would fund the running of the toilets once refurbished.
At the time Ms Kay said there was no willingness to compromise on either side, with Fife Council wanting the community council to take on the cost and the community council insisting that was the local authority’s job.
Now, after the dust has settled and both have re-grouped Ms Kay thinks there is a willingness to find a solution, if not a compromise. She added: “The council went over the position it is in. It has a strategy for toilets which has meant it has been closing a lot of them and using the comfort scheme instead. Its position is it is not prepared to continue supporting the Temple Car Park toilets the way it has been.
“We obviously need it to get money as the community council couldn’t possibly set up the structure needed to take over the toilets on its own.
“We will now contact some other agencies to see if they are able to work with us.
“So much could be made of the whole area. That’s why it would be great if an organisation, especially one like the Coast and Countryside Trust, that is interested in the area could take them over.”
In the meantime Ms Kay said she hoped the current toilets at the Temple car park remain open.
In paying tribute to Fife Council for cleaning and protecting the block from vandalism she add she was concerned the local authority hadn’t committed to saying it wouldn’t close them if no agreement was reached.
A spokesperson for Fife Council confirmed to the Mail it was in talks with the community council but stated it had “no current plans” to close the toilet facility or car park.