Derelict building in Leslie poses grave danger

Mr Coyle at the derelict building
Mr Coyle at the derelict building

A derelict former water tower and pump station is once again at the centre of fears over public safety.

The stone building which is situated on high ground adjacent to a children’s play park at Back Braes in Leslie, dates back to the 1870s and has long been a magnet for youths in the area.

Previous public concern in 2011 prompted Fife Council, who are responsible for the building, to brick up doorways and windows in a bid to make the building safe.

But residents have once more voiced fears that someone could get seriously injured after youths, some of which are thought to be as young as 12 and 13, were seen on the building’s roof on several occasions in recent weeks.

“It’s in their nature for youngsters to be adventurous but in doing so they are putting themselves at a risk of being seriously injured or even killed,” said Leslie resident Brian Coyle who lives just a few metres from the tower.

He added: “There is an amount of loose, heavy stonework that has recently been knocked off and the roof is only partially clad and in a very dangerous state. It’s only a matter of time before someone falls through if they climb onto the roof space like they have been doing.

“The council did a good job initially but unless more is done to deter those from wanting to climb the building I fear it could soon result in a tragedy.”

Youths have used a garden wall and knotted rope to scale the 20ft high building.

Police have confirmed they will be monitoring the situation. Glenrothes community sergeant Kenny Greig said: “We’ll be speaking with youngsters to make them aware of the dangers their actions pose.”

Responding to public concerns Ross Tulloch, Fife Council’s civil/structural engineering lead professional, told the Gazette: ‘‘We’d like to thank the community of Leslie for letting us know. It is very concerning to hear of children and young people potentially putting themselves at risk in this way.

“Access to the building was secured a number of years ago but it may be that further action is needed.

“One of our officers will be inspecting the building as soon as possible to see what might need to be done to make the area safer.”

The Fife authority decided against demolition in 2011 because of the high cost implication opting to brick up a doorway and windows and other entrances.