A SIX-FIGURE sum will be invested in the Lyne Burn to maintain and upgrade a ‘green network’ in Dunfermline. 

While the Press understands the funding is not yet in place, an announcement is imminent and follows questions about the state of the waterways in the town last week. 

At the City of Dunfermline area committee, a joint motion called for a feasibility study to clean up the burns, including the one in Pitcorthie where residents complained about rats and a horrible smell. 

It was defeated and, on her Facebook page, Dunfermline South SNP councillor Fay Sinclair explained: “While I support the sentiment behind this call, I don’t think this approach is the most appropriate. 

“At committee today I supported an amendment that recognised a successful partnership to maintaining our waterways, which has resulted in a £600,000 investment in the Lyne Burn, and the importance of vegetation to local biodiversity. 

“I’ve gone further in ensuring that the specific issues with the Whinny Burn can benefit from attention from the right people, rather than placing additional burden on the council’s already-stretched parks team.

“We need an approach that’s going to deliver results and my view is that it needs to be specific to the needs of each individual circumstance, not tying up officers in extensive report-writing, with no direction on the outcomes we want to achieve.”

The motion had been tabled by fellow Dunfermline South councillors, the Lib Dems’ James Calder and Tory David J Ross. 

Cllr Calder said: “We raised this motion in response to over two years of complaints regarding the state of the Whinny Burn in Pitcorthie. Overgrown vegetation such as Japanese Knotweed has caused problems for the water flow and there are huge problems of rats and odours.

“The motion simply asked for a feasibility study for clearing them. 

“Disappointingly, Labour and the SNP rejected this and provided a watered-down amendment which promises nothing for local residents. I will keep fighting, however, to get the burn cleared.” 

Local resident Janette Freir attended the meeting and said: “I have lived in Pitcorthie for 43 years and never seen the burn in such an appalling state or had to tolerate the infestation of rats that we are now dealing with. 

“This is a serious environmental and health risk that the council are ignoring and refusing to deal with.”

She added: “We used to find frogs from the burn in our gardens and occasionally we would have ducks swimming in the burn, sadly, this is a thing of the past. 

“The wildlife as we knew it has been replaced by rats.”

There are plans to improve the biodiversity and attractiveness of the Lyne Burn corridor, where it meanders through Touch, Abbeyview, Woodmill and towards east Dunfermline, with a cycle route linking communities and making the most of the green spaces. 

It would also include river restoration and improvements to the waterway and Fife Council is set to be awarded the six-figure investment.