Dysart locals want derelict church wall fixed footpath re-opened amid safety concerns

Locals in Dysart are calling for action to repair the wall of a derelict church to allow a footpath to be re-opened as its closure poses a threat to the safety of pedestrians.

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:58 pm
Updated Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 9:35 am

The path around the wall of the United Free Church building in Normand Road was cordoned off around two years ago by Fife Council due to a structural issue with it as there was a concern for the safety of people using the pavement.

But locals say the continued closure forces people onto the road and on occasions, safety barriers have also fallen onto the road making it dangerous for motorists.

The footpath was used as a route for children to and from Dysart Primary School.

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Cllr Ian Cameron has raised concerns with the Council for over two years about the state of the United Free Church building in Dysart. Pic Fife Photo Agency

Its closure means parents and youngsters are having to make risky detours to avoid crossing at Station Road.

There is also an issue of thick bushes from the church grounds infringing on the path at Station Road.

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A local resident, who didn’t want to be named, said: “The derelict church is a disgrace and is unsafe. It has meant a footpath from the school has been cordoned off for at least two years now.

Cllr Ian Cameron outside the United Free Church in Dysart, where bushes are protruding into the footpath. Pic: Fife Photo Agency

“I emailed the council and received an automated response stating it would contact me again when it had been inspected and reviewed, but nothing else since.

“Not only is it unsafe for pedestrians, but on occasions the barriers have fallen over into the road making it dangerous to motorists. The thick bushes have been protruding for a few months now onto the footpath on Station Road. There is no sign of any action being taken.”

Local councillor Ian Cameron said the issue had been raised with the church’s owners.

A footpath around the wall of the United Free Church building in Normand Road was cordoned off around two years ago by Fife Council due to a structural issue with the wall as there was a concern for the safety of people using the pavement. But locals say having the footpath closed forces people onto the road and on occasions, the barriers have also fallen onto the road making it dangerous for motorists. Pic: Google Maps.

He said: “I have been on to the council for over two years about the state of this building.

"It has responded, and remedial repairs have been undertaken to maintain safety by building control.

"The council has actively pursued the owners to take responsibility, but, unfortunately, itl has its hands tied and can only pursue the owners so far.

“The subsiding wall of the church has meant that the pavement had to be closed on the grounds of safety.

"This has meant that families with prams and young children have had added risk in their journey to Dysart Primary School.

"Cars are always parked outside the church meaning the line of sight looking north can only be seen a few steps from the pavement. Looking south there is a dangerous bend in the road that prevents seeing the traffic in time. Families are then forced to make detours to avoid crossing at Station Rd. This situation is completely unacceptable.”

Gillian McLauchlan, lead professional, building standards at Fife Council, said: “We’re actively trying to get in touch with who we understand to be the new owner of the property to discuss the current condition of the building and to look for them to carry out remedial works to maintain public safety."

Ian Jones, lead consultant with the council’s transportation’s network management, said he was arranging for the bushes, which are growing over the path, to be cut back.

He added: “Keeping the public safe is our priority so the path will remain closed to the public until the remedial work to the property has been carried out."

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