THERE are fears the proposed £1 million of improvements on Golfdrum Street in Dunfermline will land residents with a bill that's "beyond their means".

Fife Council want to fix long-standing housing issues and regenerate the area but locals who own their own property would have to pay a share of the costs.

Councillor Helen Law said: "We don't want this to become an administrative burden and endure more delays but, as much as this work is essential, we don't want folk to become distressed at the thought of bills that are beyond their means to pay.

"We need to be very sensitive in how we deal with residents and owner-occupiers in particular."

After feeling "ignored" for years, locals set up a Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) to highlight problems with the blocks of flats, including roof leaks and damp, as well as broken paving, poor-quality walkways and drying greens, fly-tipping and anti-social behaviour.

Work is proposed to ensure buildings are wind- and water-tight, with an "immediate focus" on replacing walkways, roofs and roughcast, with the estimated cost around £988,000.

The council is seeking to establish a partnership with owners to fund it jointly, a task force has been set up and consultation is about to get under way with local residents.

A report to the City of Dunfermline area committee on Tuesday explained: "The council flats in Golfdrum Street will be improved with funding from the council’s housing revenue account in 2021/22.

"The privately-owned flats will be improved through contributions from private owners and according to the share of responsibility outlined in their title deeds.

"There is a risk of doing nothing as the fabric of the multi-tenure estate will deteriorate over time."

Cllr Law told the Press: "Everyone in the community will be keen to see the work done.

"The place went downhill, which led to the TRA being set up, and I'm sure they'll be pleased that £1m of investment is hopefully in the pipeline. It's long overdue.

"I know the council will give people time to pay but there's also a mechanism where it can be added to their title deeds so when they sell their house, the money is paid back at that stage.

"There are a number of safeguards which will hopefully ensure the bills people face are affordable and also give them some flexibility about how they're met."

Golfdrum Street is, alongside Touch, a priority housing regeneration area in Dunfermline.

It was built as a "high-density flatted housing development" in the late 1960s by the then Dunfermline Town Council.

The council started to sell properties in 1982/83 under the right to buy legislation, allowing tenants to buy their flats at a significant discount, with many being sold on subsequently to third parties.

There is a mix of council and private tenants, as well as owner-occupiers, which has made it difficult to secure agreements on funding improvements, leading to a "long legacy of partial repairs" over the last decade, while the overall condition of the properties deteriorated.

Change has been driven by the TRA and Cllr Garry Haldane said Douglas Miller had been key in pushing the street's case.

He added: "These issues affect all of the blocks and residents have been very patient. It's great we're now looking at imaginative and different ways of addressing complications with ownership.

"That's the biggest hurdle. There's now a feeling of optimism in the street which is good to see."