‘Equality of arms’ claim in CPO battle

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A public enquiry to decide the fate of a derelict house in Leslie has been adjourned until April 17.

The C-listed two-storey structure at 222 High Street situated in the heart of the town’s conservation area has lain empty for 20 years.

A public enquiry, held in Leslie Town Hall last week to decide whether Fife Council could be granted a compulsory purchase order (CPO) was adjourned after just 15 minutes following submissions from the property’s owner, John Mowbray.

With the council’s case being handled by their solicitor, Frazer Munroe, Mr Mowbray told the Scottish Government appointed Reporter, Trevor Croft there should be an ‘equality of arms’ and that he needed ‘more time to find legal representation’ in order to better match the council.

Having agreed to adjourn, Mr Croft expressed his ‘disappointment’ especially given the time Mr Mowbray had been given to prepare for the hearing.

Fife Council had originally agreed to apply for the CPO in 2006.

He further advised that the historic relationship between Mr Mowbray and Fife Council would not be relevant and any further delaying tactics would not be entertained now that a new date had been agreed.