Residents and businesses in Kinghorn have voiced their anger at a bid by a developer to extend the closure of a busy road.
Despite a 1200 signature petition, in a bitter battle by the Kinghorn and Burntisland communities to keep the B923 route open, Fife Council granted a 14 week closure of a 500 metre stretch of the Loch Road to start from January.
It was approved to allow Lovell Partnership to build 133 new homes on two sites that straddle the busy arterial route. The contractor wanted a six month road closure.
But now a request to extend the closure for a further five weeks, due to a combination of issues including recent bad weather, has been met with dismay by local politicians and residents, who say the closure is already hurting trade and further disruption could ruin people’s livelihoods.
Kinghorn resident Scott Brownlie told the Press the closure is already having a huge impact on his parents’ farm produce business.
He said: “The closure for months has taken its toll, my elderly parents are feeling it with their income at virtually zero bar a few customers who follow the diversion to support their business.
“Losing out significantly on the original road is already bad enough but further prolonged closures now has the potential to ruin them.
“We were told the closure should end by April 25 but the road is obliterated and I understand Lovell’s are only now applying for permission to work seven days a week, it’s too little, too late.”
“It’s understood, Fife Council has agreed to extend the closure by a five days taking it to May 1, but no longer. It‘s outrageous and completely unacceptable,” said councillor Kathleen Leslie.
“The community was given assurances and now they face further disruption. Lessons must be learned so this can not be allowed in future.”
Kevin McColgan, operations director at Lovell, said: “Due to a combination of issues outside our control we have unfortunately had to apply for an extension to the road closure of the B923 to complete the works.
‘‘This work has been delayed as a result of weather issues in recent weeks including the heavy snowfall and the presence of unidentified underground services.
‘‘We appreciate and understand the views of residents on this matter and we are very sorry for any inconvenience this may cause.
‘‘We are working hard to complete the works.”