Anstruther flats residents claim no warning of demolition threat

© Rick Booth / callysnapper

Occupants of Anstruther flats claimed they first heard their homes may be bulldozed through an article in The Courier.

Blocks of flats in Mayview Court and Mayview Avenue could be knocked down and replaced by new homes or a care village and elderly care home.

Fife Council is to weigh up the option against investing in a major upgrade of the buildings, which are in a poor state of repair and suffer from a poor reputation.

Of the 41 council flats, 19 are vacant and the local authority said people on the housing waiting list refused to move into them.

However, residents said despite a public meeting about the future of the Mayview flats they were not notified that they could soon be no more.

The Courier revealed a fortnight ago that the flats’ days could be numbered, on the eve of a committee meeting where councillors gave the nod for an options appraisal to be conducted.

One resident, who wished to remain anonymous, said: “I thought it was pretty bad that we had to hear from the papers and the only thing we have had is a newsletter through the door, along with how we can access the report of the meeting they had on August 30.

“The day after it was in the paper I got a call at about 9am when I was at work saying it was only one of the options they were considering and that there was a meeting that day.”

She also said the council had just laid new flooring in the stairwell, to which owners had to contribute £300.

Gavin Smith, housing manager for north-east Fife, said: “A significant amount of ground work was undertaken to survey residents and host a resident engagement event before this options appraisal process started.”

Although the meeting was not well attended, he said, the survey had a high return rate and highlighted issues around property condition, neighbourhood and estate management.

He said: “These helped us to develop the four potential options which will now be considered and consulted on.

“The report approved at committee proposed that a working group of officers, elected members and residents would be established to develop a future strategy for the estate.

“We’ll be drawing on experience from successful models for this, such as the redevelopment of Fraser Avenue in Inverkeithing, and as part of this process it is hoped that a tenant or resident group can also be established.

“I’d like to stress that we’re very much at the start of this process.

“There will now be direct consultation on the options with the residents that are directly impacted, the wider community and other stakeholders.

“We’re committed to ensuring that lots of opportunities will be provided to allow tenants and owners living on the estate to engage in the process and help us reach decisions on how best to achieve long term improvements.”

Other options are maintaining the status quo but with some investment, and an extensive external and internal upgrade with lifts put in and caretaking facilities.