COMPULSORY purchase powers may be needed for two new traffic routes through Dunfermline that will cost around £31 million. 

The Northern Link Road (NLR) and the Western Distributor Road (WDR) will serve vast estates containing up to 8,000 new homes and take traffic away from the town centre. 

Parcels of land will need to be bought and, if the owners can’t agree a price, Fife Council want to go down the compulsory purchase route to ensure the projects can move forward and the houses can be built. 

Estimated costs are £14m for the NLR and £17m for the WDR. They’ll also need to build three road bridges over railway lines and an extra lane southbound on the A823 at Pitreavie, while traffic lights will be installed on the roundabouts at Sky and at Bothwell Street.

Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, said: “The Dunfermline Strategic Development Area programme represents one of the largest areas of strategic growth in Scotland. 

“The programme has the potential to provide up to 8,000 homes, 80 hectares of employment land, five new primary schools, £36m in developer contributions to secondary education in the Dunfermline area and other community facilities.”

He added that the new roads were “essential” to support the delivery of the housebuilding. 

All of the money will come from developer contributions but the final bill could spiral depending on land acquisition costs, compensation and payments to owners, staff time and consultants’ fees, and the potential costs of any public inquiry or Lands Tribunal hearing. 

The NLR will be built in phases and provide an alternative east-west traffic corridor in Dunfermline between the Halbeath bypass and Carnock Road. 

From the bypass, it will head north with a bridge over the Fife Circle railway line and link to Pleasance Road; the indicative route heads through the housing site between Halbeath and Kingseat, linking to Whitefield Road, north by Townhill, through the Colton, Wellwood and Swallowdrum housing sites and on to Carnock Road. 

To pave the way, the council will need to buy four parcels of land at Halbeath Retail Park on Kingseat Road, at the former Townhill power station, north of Kingseat Road and east of Townhill Road, and a house at Glenavon, Townhill Loch. 

The WDR will also be constructed in phases and run between the King Malcolm roundabout and Rumblingwell. 

Heading west from the roundabout along Grange Drive, a bridge will be built over the Fife Circle, the road will run through the Broomhall site, from Grange Road to Limekilns Road and then north, with another bridge over the Dunfermline-Alloa railway line, to Coal Road, Pittencrieff Street, William Street and the Rumblingwell junction. 

The council aim to buy land at Pittencrieff Street, on the west side of Coal Road and McKane Park, and on the west and east side of William Street. 

Councillors backed the use of compulsory purchase powers, should they be required, at a meeting of the assets, property and facilities committee.