A report by The National said Fife Council called in the bond, taken out by UK Coal Mining, after the Scottish Coal Company – which took over the open-cast coal mine site – went into liquidation. However, RSA argued it only had to pay out in certain circumstances.
“So far as the evidence disclosed, the defender repeatedly rejected the sufficiency of the pursuer’s repeated calls upon the bond,” wrote Lady Wolffe in her judgment.
She said RSA did not explain what the deficiencies were or, at least, it did not do so in a way that ever enabled Fife Council to satisfy the insurer’s interpretation of the bond – which was taken out to ensure that the mine site would be returned to woodland, countryside, and agricultural use.
The amount of £3.1 million would also cover years of aftercare, according to the report. As per the ruling, there was an obligation that the bond monies be applied for the purpose stipulated.
Fife Council head of service Robin Presswood said that while the council is aware that the ruling can be appealed, it hopes RSA would accept the judgment and allow restoration to start as soon as possible.