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Glenrothes in final three for Carbuncle Award

Residents of a Fife town are unhappy that their community may soon be named as the most dismal in Scotland.

Residents of a Fife town are unhappy that their community may soon be named as the most dismal in Scotland.

Glenrothes is in the final three for the annual Carbuncle Awards, a competition that highlights areas that the judges believe are failing to realise their full potential.

Gordon Young, editor of Prospect magazine which runs the Carbuncles, said in a statement: "A primary criteria of the Carbuncles is that the towns shortlisted must have real potential, which local leaders for one reason or another are failing to exploit."

The judges, a group of Scottish architectual leaders and magazine writers, were critical of the shopping precinct in the town centre and described it as "ugly and depressing" and in an "80s time warp."

Glenrothes residents have defended their town, saying while it may have flaws it is a good place to live.

Betty Mills, who has lived in the town since the early 1980s, told the Dundee Courier: "I suppose it would be harder for younger people as it is quite spread out--you really need a car to get about.

"I don't think the buildings are that bad though as most of them are fairly well sheltered by trees.

"There's also plenty of grassy areas for my grandchildren to play and the streets are quiet because they're mostly cul-de-sacs.

"My next-door neighbour moved from Kirkcaldy a couple of years ago and in the summer she is always commenting on how peaceful it is, so they must have got something right when they built the town."

Glenrothes was built following the New Towns Act of 1946 and was designed to give people moving from the inner cities a better quality of life.

The town designers left open spaces and parkland in the middle of housing schemes to provide focal points for communities.

College lecturer Bryan Murray said: "There's a lot of community spirit in this town and when I was growing up there were always places to meet and play football with your friends.

"These days I can also jump in my car and go to the Fife Institute, which is still a focal point for sport in the area, or be up in the hills.

"The schools are good and I've always felt safe walking around, so it's a bit harsh to see the town nominated like this."

Local resident Lorna Adam said: "Personally I like the way the town has been designed.

"Each part of town has its own school and a name that reflects its area and that helps to reinforce the community spirit.

"It's a very green environment for kids."

The residents were surprised with the town's nomination for the Carbuncle Awards given that Glenrothes won the best large town prize in the 2008 Beautiful Scotland Awards and has been chosen to represent Scotland at the Britain in Bloom competition this year.

Other finalists for the unwelcome award are New Cumnock and Motherwell, with the recipient set to be announced on Thursday after the results of an online poll have been collated.

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