Despite a petition of more than 1200 signatures and questions raised at full council, a busy Fife road WILL be closed to all vehicles for up to four months.
Councillors have voiced their disappointment over the decision to uphold the closure of the busy arterial B923 Loch Road outside Kinghorn to allow for a housing development to commence.
A 1200 signature petition, as well as an orchestrated campaign calling for Lovell Homes and Fife Council to come up with an alternative plan, has failed to keep the road open.
“It’s a hugely frustrating outcome,” Cllr Gordon Langlands told the Press.
“Transportation has exhausted all the options, and ,despite questions raised at a full council meeting over how this could be allowed to happen and how it has been handled, the road closure will be allowed and transportation is currently working on a signage plan.”
Cllr Langlands concerns were echoed by his colleague Cllr Kathleen Leslie.
“Local businesses will be hit hard by this and that could have been avoided,” said the councillor.
“It’s now vital that we learn from this episode and put in place a planning system that allows the council to be much more robust and proactive with the powers it has.”
Kevin McColgan, operations director for Lovell in Scotland has apologised for the closure.
He said: “We are very sorry for any inconvenience the road closure may cause locally and have explored all possible avenues over the past six months in terms of potential alternatives to a full closure of the B923.
“In close consultation with the local authority, we have concluded that all alternative options explored would present an unacceptably high risk to the health and safety of road users, members of the public and our employees.
‘‘Since health and safety is of paramount importance to us, the full road closure was the only viable option available to ensure the health and safety of all parties involved.
“With these interests in mind, Fife Council has agreed to a full closure of the B923 east of Kinghorn from around Burnside Path to the junction at Red Path Brae for a period of approximately 15 weeks staring in mid January.
“The diversionary route agreed with Fife Council is via the higher class A921 road.
“As a result of work undertaken to redesign the drainage layout for the development, in close coordination with Fife Council, we have been able to reduce the closure period to around half the time originally planned.”
There will now be a planned closure of a 500 metre section of the B923 with a diversion through Kinghorn’s main High Street.
In a last gasp bid to ease the congestion that many objectors say is inevitable, councillors have called for Fife Council to ease the strict operating time conditions, imposed on the site as part of the planning consent, to allow for longer working hours in a bit to speed up construction and reduce the closure period.