Fife Council bosses are insisting they “owe it to the people” to continue with a legal battle against the company which designed Dunfermline’s beleaguered flood prevention scheme.
The local authority has reaffirmed its commitment to pursue its current court action against Atkins Limited, which was employed as design and supervision consultants on the long running project.
Head of legal services Morag Ferguson said: “We had hoped that the council’s claim could be resolved through mediation, however, this has not been possible to date.
“Officers discussed the current position with members of the policy and coordination committee and they have agreed additional funding to cover the costs of impending court action.
“We have a strong case and we owe it to the people of Fife to recover public money that should have been put to other uses.”
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The scheme, which aimed to minimise the risk of flooding to nearly 200 properties near the Tower, Calais and Lyne burns to the south of Dunfermline, was first mooted as two-year, £3.75 million project.
It was initially due to start in 2005 but work did not begin until 2007 and by the time it was complete the bill had soared to more than £35m and locals had endured years of disruption, lost access to gardens and land and roadworks.
The idea of legal proceedings for a multi-million-pound claim against the company was first raised around five years ago.
The case is now expected to start in the Court of Session next February and will run for around eight weeks.
A spokesman for Atkins said that as it was an ongoing matter it would be inappropriate at this stage to discuss it in any further detail.
Earlier this year it was revealed that Fife Council could be taken to a tribunal over compensation claims relating to the flood prevention scheme.
Five large claims by land owners remain to be settled, after the local authority took entry as part of the works in 2007.
Although the council had the right to enter the land by the Lyne Burn, legislation provides for owners to be compensated under certain circumstances.
One of the claims, for the owner of an Elgin Street storage yard, is likely to be settled but others could be referred to the Lands Tribunal.
Several smaller payments have already been made, and some minor claims have been refused or cancelled due to a lack of evidence.