Kinghorn Loch road closure petition gathers momentum

© DC Thomson
B923 Road from Kinghorn to Burntisland is to be closed for 15 weeks

A Fife community is campaigning to stop a four-month road closure by a housing developer.

More than 1,100 people have signed an online petition protesting against Lovell Homes’ plans to shut the B923 Kinghorn Loch road for 14 weeks from January.

The company had initially said the road would be closed for six months.

Residents, local business owners and councillors have asked for a review of the decision, said by Lovell to be necessary to ensure safety as it starts construction of 133 homes at Kinghorn Loch.

Locals claim it will lead to disruption, unnecessary traffic volume near homes and schools and increased journey times.

They fear local businesses will be severely impacted and have called for the road to either be kept open with the use of traffic lights or to only be closed at times that will not affect the community.

Fife Council co-leader David Ross said Lovell had not made the local authority aware of the need for a full road closure when they submitted their planning application.

He said the issue had arisen when engineers later inspected the site to discuss the installation of a sewer.

Mr Ross added that the local authority did not have the power under planning legislation to stop the road closure.

“It would not have been appropriate to withhold planning consent until an engineering solution had been found,” he said.

“Road closures can occur and can’t be avoided in some cases.”

Asked by Kinghorn and Burntisland councillor Gordon Langlands whether planning and transportation officials would be attempting to negotiate a compromise, Mr Ross added: “It’s not a planning issue.

“I believe transportation have been in discussion with the company to try to negotiate an agreement that does actually mitigate some of the impacts.

“It’s been reduced from six months down to three or four months and I’m sure transportation will continue to put pressure on the company to reduce that even further.”

Kevin McColgan, operations director for Lovell in Scotland, 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 at approximately Burnside Path to the junction at Red Path Brae for a period of approximately 15 weeks commencing 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.”