DELAYS that have left a new build Fife Council house lying empty for more than a year have been slammed as "unacceptable".

Councillor David Barratt said he'd received numerous complaints from locals demanding to know why, with housing waiting lists as long as they are, the Inverkeithing property is still vacant.

At the South and West Fife area committee he said he was aware of specific cases where there have been "unacceptable" delays in tenants being able to move into council-owned homes.

Cllr Barratt continued: "There's a new build house in Inverkeithing that has sat unoccupied for over a year.

"I've lost count of how many people have raised that specific property with me.

"It's not just because they want to move into it, but even if the property is not suitable for them they're aware they're sitting on a waiting list for a property to come up.

"They see properties around them that are empty and don't understand why that's happening."

Cllr Barratt, the committee convener, added: "I know that's not the fault of your service but the responsibility sits within the council, and building services in particular to make the adaptations.

"For a new build to sit empty for over a year, when we've got people desperate for housing and that house has been allocated to people that are desperate to move in, really is unacceptable.

"The alternative is rent loss and people not getting the housing that they are entitled to and deserve."

Area housing manager Claire Mackinlay said it was a "fairly unique case" and she'd been told there were some reasons for the delays.

She told the councillors: "When the property was handed over it was just over a year ago, January 2022.

"A new tenant was already identified, we've been looking for a property for this tenant with complex needs for a number of years, and there was still work that needed to be done to enable the tenant to live in he property."

Ms Mackinlay said there had been a "lot of to-ing and fro-ing between the family, the occupational therapist and property services" and it "took a long time" to come up with the final designs and layout of the property.

The building warrant application was submitted in November 2022, granted in January of this year and a pre-site meeting held last month ahead of the 12-week programme.

She added: "I would hope that start is imminent and in two-to-three months it should be completed.

"But yes, it's been a long time and it doesn't look good. I can understand why you've had a lot of enquiries about it."