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Historic Falkland Action Group
Working to Preserve and Enhance the Heritage of Falkland



The Barn, Byre and Walls at the Pleasance, Falkland.

The Historic Falkland Action Group (HFAG) came into being as a result of the concern and dismay of local people about action taken by Lomond Homes/ Lomond Land, a Fife Builder and Developer, to attempt to demolish (on supposed safety grounds) old and historic farm buildings and walls at Dovecote Farm beside the Pleasance in Falkland. The wall and pan-tiled barn and byre farm buildings attached form an important part of the Falkland conservation area. Separate actions were taken by Fife Council to remedy the situation: 1) by Enforcement Notice to rebuild the length of demolished wall and 2) by Repair Order to force the owner to repair the Barn, Byre and remaining wall and gate pillar.

At last - The wall is rebuilt!
(October 2012)
Congratulations to all who assisted the campaign to save this part of Falkland's
Heritage from the ravages of a developer engaged in illegal demolition.
The wall completed (October 2012). Click for BBC News Video.

Give credit where credit is due!
Click: Credit to those who fought the campaign.

The Reporter to the Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals, Ian Urquhart, issued his decision on 9 September 2011 as follows. However, it took almost another year for the rebuilding to finally be forced on the developer!

"I dismiss the appeal (by Lomond Land) and direct that the Enforcement Notice dated 3 June 2011 (issued by Fife Council) be upheld."

This means that, unless Lomond Land appeal the decision within 6 weeks to the Court of Session, they are required to rebuild the section of wall at the Pleasance that they demolished in April 2010 - and to complete the rebuilding within 3 months - that is by 9 December 2011 - all as specified in the Enforcement Notice dated 3 June 2011.

The Reporter states, "In my view, the scale of the rebuilding work is very modest. One of the appellants, Lomond Land Limited, is in the construction business and would have ready access to the necessary technical and staff resources. The work required by the notice involves the construction of a short section of stone wall in a readily accessible location and without the need for any major plant or equipment. I do not believe that the appointment of contractors to carry out the work would be a complex or lengthy exercise. Adverse weather can disrupt and delay building works. However, I consider that a 3 month period for compliance with the notice would allow sufficient flexibility to accommodate variable weather conditions."

The wall rebuilding by Stonemasons Colin Sweeney of Glenrothes. (20 August 2012). Repair / conversion of the barn & byre still not achieved!

The demolished wall - still demolished! (23 March 2011)

The Decision Document can be downloaded as a pdf by clicking Decision2011

But there is still work to do - Lomond have made a Planning Application for a new house on the site with a garage for four cars that would result in the effective demolition of the historic Barn and Byre - buildings that have been newly repaired with difficulty under a Fife Council Repair Order. HFAG have submitted an objection to the Lomond Planning Application - but more action may be needed. Download pdf of the Lomond Planning Application.


THE SECOND ENFORCEMENT NOTICE (3 June 2011)
Fife Council issued their (second) Enforcement 2011 Notice on 3 June 2011 in a further attempt (now successful) to force Lomond Land Limited and Mr W R Mill to restore/ rebuild the section of wall that they demolished in April of 2010. The first Enforcement process was dismissed by the Reporter on a legal technicality.

Lomond Land Limited and Mr W R Mill decided to Appeal (yet again) rather than just go ahead and rebuild the wall they tore down. But the Reporter has DISMISSED their appeal (9 September 2011) - and has instructed Lomond Land to Rebuild the Wall within 3 months!!

The main HFAG submission was made in three Word Documents - these can be downloaded by clicking HFAG_Submission, HFAG_Rebuttal & HFAG_DocumentList.

The case is on the Directorate website as ENA-250-2013 and is mirrored on our HFAG site at Directorate2011Mirror. Details of the earlier appeal of 2010 can be accessed at Appeal2010.

TRAFFIC LIGHTS & SCAFFOLDING AWAY!
THE BARN & BYRE LOOKING GOOD
AT LAST (23 March 2011) the road at the Pleasance is free of scaffolding and traffic lights! The owner of the Barn and Byre at the Pleasance did not respond to the Repair Order issued by Fife Council 14 May 2010. The repair work has now been completed by the Council - the gables fully reinforced and repointed, the remaining section of wall repaired and the gate pillar rebuilt. HFAG understand that the costs of the work will now be passed to the owner (Mr W R Mill). The severe winter weather caused long delays - but the buildings are now saved.
The Barn & Byre and Gate Pillar repaired at last! (23 March 2011)

THE FIRST ENFORCEMENT NOTICE (14 May 2010)
On the face of it the Decision issued by the Reporter on 1 January 2011 on the Falkland Wall Appeal (of 2010) was a disappointment. But careful reading of the complex legal paragraphs revealed a good decision. Lomond's Appeal against this 2010 Enforcement Notice raised many difficult legal issues that the Reporter was required to take into account.

When the Fife Council issued the (first) Enforcement Notice (14 May 2010) requiring Lomond Homes to rebuild the demolished wall at the Pleasance, the Council specified in detail how the wall should be rebuilt - but they also required Lomond Homes to produce a Methodology Statement for approval by the Council prior to the work commencing. The Reporter has determined that this made the notice ambiguous and he has therefore determined that the Enforcement Notice is unsatisfactory. Read the full Decision Notice.

Lomond Homes could easily have discussed details for the wall reconstruction with the Fife Council and agreed the procedure - but they failed to do so. Instead Lomond Homes decided to follow the route of
appealing the Enforcement Notice.

The reporter recognised that a further notice could be issued with amended wording - and that took place on 3 June 2011 (as above). See Fife Herald (7 January 2011) and The Courier (5 January 2011).

SECRET PLANS: Secret plans by Lomond Homes were revealed in internal emails exposed in a report in the Sunday Herald on 29 August 2010 under the title "Revealed: the ‘evil scheming’ of leading property developer" by Rob Edwards the paper's Environment Editor. The emails which clearly indicated Lomond's real intentions behind their demolition of the wall were anonymously gifted as a document to the Historic Falkland Action Group and were submitted to the Scottish Government Reporter as part of the HFAG Submission on 11 July 2010.

Contact HFAG: HFAG will be happy to receive any "interesting" material related to Lomond Homes activities or plans in Falkland or elsewhere. Click on

BACKGROUND: Falkland residents discovered in April 2010 that local developer Lomond Homes planned to demolish the Barn, Byre and walls at the Pleasance on supposed safety grounds. Within days around 500 local residents signed a petition to Fife Council seeking to stop the wall and buildings being demolished. A meeting took place (Monday 5 April 2010) with local councillors, community councillors and local residents and Lomond Homes to consider alternatives to demolition. After the meeting, Dr Bob McLennan (Head of Transportation) announced that the wall would not be demolished but that only a small part of the wall would be taken down by hand. In spite of the agreement, Lomond Homes demolished a long section of wall (Wednesday 7 April 2010) using a JCB (STV News Video). Fife Council issued a Stop Order (21 April 2010) to prevent further demolition and this was followed by issuing a Repair Order (14 May 2010) to the owner Mr William Ronaldson Mill (to repair and re-roof the Barn and Byre) and an Enforcement Notice (14 May 2010) to Lomond Homes/ Lomond Land (to rebuild the demolished section of wall).

As regards the demolished section of wall, Lomond Homes/ Lomond Land had a right of appeal and they entered an Appeal (13 June 2010) against this first Enforcement Notice . It was this first 2010 Appeal that was rejected as unsatisfactory by the Reporter to the Scottish Government Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals in his Decision Notice of 1 January 2011.

The Historic Falkland Action Group presented their HFAG 2010 Submission (11 July 2010) with a considerable mass of evidence in support of the Fife Council's position that has been repeated, updated and improved in the new HFAG 2011 Submission:

1) that the section of wall demolished by Lomond Homes should be fully rebuilt and
2) that the old farm buildings - the barn, byre and remaining walls should be fully reinstated, repaired and reroofed.

HFAG will continue to add interpretation paragraphs to some of the documents to assist understanding of the legal complexities involved. But if the legal stuff is too difficult (it is) have a look at some of the great pictures and the interesting archaeological report - and also see what Lomond Land/ Lomond Homes have been up to!

This HFAG website includes sections on the history of Dovecote Farm and the Pleasance, the reasons behind the demolition of the length of ancient wall and how action by local residents managed to limit the demolition and prevent the further demolition of the Barn, Byre and remaining length of wall. We also give access to Fife Council's legal actions and evidence presented by HFAG and the Falkland and Newton of Falkland Community Council.