Forth Ports lodge plans for fences to limit public access at Burntisland Docks

Controversial plans to fence off part of Burntisland Docks have been submitted to Fife Council.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 10:08 am

Forth Ports says the move is essential for safety reasons.

It has applied for listed building consent to put up fences and gates at the harbour which, it accepts, will impact on access.

There was a backlash in February when the plans were first revealed.

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The port at Burntisland
The port at Burntisland

A local petition attracted huge support, but Forth Ports stressed it had no plans to close off the entire port - but it had to act in areas of high risk.

Plans now lodged with the council reveal the key points Forth Ports wants to block off.

These include securing access at the western peninsula section and north and east sides of East Dock.

It also proposes a steel fence to secure access to the south side of the East Dock from the East breakwater.

Burntisland port

In a report to the local authority, it said activity at the docks had increased in recent years.

There is more cargo activity linked to Fife Ethylene Plant at Mossmorran, while Scott Pallets has relocated from Rosyth, and Briggs Marine has made more use of the East Dock.

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Burntisland also serves as an alternative port to Kirkcaldy when vessels cannot get into the harbour there due to weather or sea conditions - something which can happen with less than 12 hours notice.

It said Burntisland is the only port within the Forth Ports Group which currently has no restriction to public access.

A survey revealed risks included people coming into contact with moving machinery, tripping over mooring lines, and falling into the water.

It added: “The risk assessment concluded that perimeter fences should be erected to reduce the possibility of an accident occurring in the areas of highest risk.

“The installation of the fence to the south of Forth Place and Railway Station House will also undoubtedly change the current character and setting of the existing dockside.

“However, it represents the minimum change required at this point in time to ensure the East Dock’s continued operation and development and, by extension, safeguard its continued historical significance.”

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