Court forces travellers to leave business park camp

The entrance to the camp
The entrance to the camp

Firms at a Kirkcaldy business park have expressed their relief that an illegal travellers’ camp has been moved on.

Businesses overlooking the camp, at the entrance to the John Smith Business Park, say they have been plagued by the untidy campsites on land near their premises for around four years, with the travellers returning every year at around the same time.

And they explained that, although this year there has not been as much nuisance as in previous years, they had still complained to Fife Council because it looked “messy and unprofessional” when they were hosting important business meetings or clients.

One woman, who did not wish to be named, said: “It looks just awful when you have clients coming in and there is rubbish being blown around and dogs roaming around. It is just not a welcoming sight for visitors and is very unprofessional looking.”

A man who was walking his dog last week emailed the Press saying: “When I walked past this morning there was an almighty mess gathering around the area. On the grass verges nearest to Begg Road there were overflowing black plastic bags dumped and large empty dog food bags and other litter just blowing about.

“They haven’t even left yet and the area is starting to look like it will soon be a health hazard and an expensive mess for the Fife taxpayers to pay to get cleaned up.”

A woman in the Evans Easyspace building said: “They have been coming here around the same time for about four years now and this year has not been half as bad as it was last year.

“We felt quite threatened then when they were closer to our buildings and there were people urinating up against our building.

“This year there were about a dozen caravans on the other side of the road behind bushes, so they were more hidden from the public’s view, but they still left a lot of litter which the council had to come and tidy up. We all pay our taxes and shouldn’t have to put up with this when there are legal sites for them to stay at.”

Ronnie Hair, property investment and development manager with Fife Council, said: “We’ve been doing everything in our power to get a solution. We received complaints from local businesses and asked the travellers to move on, then requested that a notice be served through the Sheriff Court when they didn’t.

“The case was heard at the end of the week before last and notice served last Tuesday and the matter is now in the hands of Sheriff’s Officers who gave the group until Monday to move on.”