Organisers of the first major to be staged at a new golf course in Scotland for 40 years have been accused of attempting to breach planning conditions.
Villagers are furious at proposals to bring hundreds of cars down a narrow, residential street for the Ricoh Women’s British Open at Kingsbarns Golf Links in August.
They are also fighting a bid to divert a scenic section of the Fife Coastal Path from the course during play.
Kingsbarns Community Council said it won a hard fight to prevent Back Stile being used as access and to ensure the coastal path was not obstructed when planning permission was granted for the course 20 years ago.
The Open is expected to attract up to 50,000 spectators but organiser IMG insisted it had no intention of breaching planning conditions and continued to work with the community to resolve issues.
Kate Holy, convener of the community council planning sub-committee, said: “We don’t object to the Open being there, as long as they play by fair rules.
“There was agreement with the local community in the late 1990s that they would not use Back Stile.
“A lot of people worked very hard to reach this agreement that would allow the golf course to be built without harming the village.
“Twenty years later we are fighting the same battle.”
The single track road, which is the only access to popular Kingsbarns Beach, could see 300 car trips daily to and from a temporary car park for tournament traffic.
Ms Holy said: “People won’t be able to get their cars in and out of their drives and if there’s an emergency they won’t be able to get help.”
Kingsbarns Community Council previously voiced anger at a proposal to have Back Stile residents show identification to gain entry to their own street.
Although the Open will be played over only four days from August 3 to 6, restrictions will be in force for eight days.
An application has been made to Scottish ministers for approval of the coastal path diversion, which IMG claims is necessary to protect the public from wayward balls and for security purposes.
Ross Hallett, IMG tournament director, said: “We continue to discuss plans for the championship with members of Kingsbarns Community Council and we have already proposed a number of amendments to our original plans based on the wishes of the council and comments received at the last meeting — including reducing vehicle numbers and removing security measures which had only been proposed to benefit local residents.
“We have no intention of breaching any planning conditions and will be discussing the matter at the community meeting on May 8, when we hope to find a solution that works for all parties.
“We plan to implement a diversion of the coastal footpath that will have minimal impact on anyone using the footpath during this period and I would reiterate that this is a short diversion only and not a closure.
“We are grateful to the Kingsbarns community for the support they have given us to date and we wish to find a solution so that everyone can enjoy this fantastic championship that brings so much benefit to Scotland, Fife and the local community.”
Turnberry was the first new Scottish course to stage a major when it made its debut hosting the Open in 1977.
Kingsbarns Golf Links is one of three courses which hosts the annual Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, which is played by both professionals and celebrity amateurs.