RESIDENTS at a Tillicoultry development have been commended for their “sheer resilience and tenacity” after suffering an “injustice” due to Clackmannanshire Council's failures.

The residents of Bards Way have been praised by MSP Alexander Stewart after the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman upheld three complaints against the local authority in a preliminary decision.

As reported recently, the judgment is due to be laid in front of Holyrood in the coming months after it was found that Clackmannanshire Council “unreasonably failed” to enforce a 1998 agreement to adopt the play park an open space there.

The local authority continues to decline to comment on the issue; however, elected parliamentary representatives have been speaking to the Advertiser in the wake of the findings.

Mr Stewart, representing Mid Scotland and Fife, said: “I would suggest this isn’t the first time that Clackmannanshire Council has been put in this position by the ombudsman.

“The baton had been dropped by someone leaving the council and at no stage was there anyone there to pick it up.

"So, were it not for the Bards Way community sticking by what they feel is absolutely right for them, the issue would have still been on the shelf, gathering dust.

“With no leadership or direction either, by specifically elected representatives and much ducking, diving and deflection by they and the council on the way; it has been down to other MSPs to have become involved.


SAVE OUR OPEN SPACE: Residents around Bards Way have been battling to preserve the open space for years. Picture by Fiona Read

SAVE OUR OPEN SPACE: Residents around Bards Way have been battling to preserve the open space for years. Picture by Fiona Read


“However, due to the sheer resilience and tenacity by the community, this is a significant step forward for the residents of Bards Way, and I commend them for this.

“Now this issue is heading to parliament, I very much hope this is a significant turning point for the community and at last they may be able to see light at the end of this long, dark tunnel.”

It is understood the council has since been engaging with residents at the development.

But in the ombudsman's decision, it was highlighted that the council will now have to rely on the "goodwill" of the landowners if it is to adopt the land retrospectively.

MSP Keith Brown said: “This is an historic issue, dating back a quarter of a century.

“The ombudsman has published its findings and it is now for Clackmannanshire Council to act on these.”

As previously reported, the ombudsman said householders have "suffered injustice as a result of the council's lack of enforcement".

Known as a Section 75 Agreement, the council and developers of Bards Way had agreed 25 years ago that the local authority would adopt the play park, take charge of its maintenance and protect its use.

However, it was found that no action was taken to ensure this was complete with the initial developer later selling the land to a third party who then sold to another two parties.

Clackmannanshire Council has been told by the ombudsman to apologise and to learn from the failures.