Luthermuir access row rumbles on

RESIDENTS of Luthermuir are seeking help from Aberdeenshire Council to restore the width of the access lane into their hall and park to 12 feet, something which they say was granted to the village under the terms of a feu charter dating back to 1920.

A row over access to the hall and park from Main Street first blew up in October 2008 when Mitchell and Jill Simpson, owners of the adjoining property, closed the lane to carry out essential work to their house.

The lane was closed to vehicles for a lengthy period of time but is now open, apart from some building materials, surrounded by safety fencing, which remain on the lane, restricting its width.

It is understood that the fencing is there to protect an old weaving shed, which sits on the edge of the Simpson property, from possible damage from any large vehicles which might use the lane.

Community councillor Janette Anderson said: “Mr and Mrs Simpson subsequently offered to remove the fencing and put in bollards to protect their property. “This has never happened and it appears that nothing has been done in the meantime to the old weaving shed.

“Aberdeenshire Council have given assurances that no large vehicles such as the large recycling lorry will use the lane, but we are seeking their help to restore the access lane to 12 foot wide as laid down by the feu charter given by John Low of Balmakewan to Marykirk Parish in 1920.”

Mrs Anderson has put a petition round the village calling for the access to be restored to 12 feet and this has attracted 106 signatures.

The petition also refers to the state of the hedge belonging to the Simpsons which runs along the lane, but this has now been cut back.

Three officials of Aberdeenshire Council attended a meeting in Luthermuir last Tuesday to discuss the access situation with the executive committee of the hall and park and others.

The meeting was chaired by Willie Munro (area manager) and he was accompanied by Mark Skilling (roads) and Doug Allan (landscape services).

Mrs Anderson added: “We are asking for help. We simply want the access to the park back to what it was.

“At the moment we appear to be at a stalemate. Cars can get in to the park, but the obstruction that has been left is an eyesore with nettles growing up through it.

“We also want recyling facilities back in the park. Luthermuir has been without recycling facilities for three years and that is not good enough.”