Anger as MoD fails to attend briefing on contaminated Dalgety Bay beach clean

A Dog plays on Dalgety Bay beachA Dog plays on Dalgety Bay beach
A Dog plays on Dalgety Bay beach
The Ministry of Defence has been criticised for failing to turn up to a meeting to brief councillors on plans to clean up radioactive contamination at Dalgety Bay beach.

It was meant to present to the south and west Fife area committee - but despite repeated attempts from the council, it got no feedback from the Government department.

It was left to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency to give councillors an update on the long-running issue.

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Nina Patton, SEPA’s senior policy officer of radioactive substances, told councillors: “The MoD really should be here to give you an update.”

Ms Patton said it got confirmation from the MoD in August that contractor, Balfour Beatty, would not be on site in 2020 – remediation works would start in 2021.

She added:: “We’re disappointed at the lack of progress after the delays. This year, we expected them to be on site.”

SEPA has yet to receive an application from MoD or its contractors for an environmental authorisation permit for the planned works which is causing further delays.

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Ms Patton said: “We are standing ready to receive the necessary paperwork to determine that permit as soon as we receive submission.”

The MoD confirmed it submitted a planning application to extend existing conditions to its works by three years which has been approved by Fife Council.

Balfour Beatty has applied for permission to erect a concrete processing plant at Inverkeithing to prepare pre-cast concrete elements in advance of the remediation works.

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Councillors voiced their frustration at the delays and lack of communication.

Cllr David Barratt said: “The extremely poor communication from the MoD has been extremely frustrating.

“It seems to bounce between who it is blaming month to month. Last year, when it visited the area committee, it tried to say that it was local community stakeholders who were delaying plans.

“The last update we recieved confirming the delay indicated it was because of a lack of process with permitting but from what’s been said today they haven’t even submitted that application.”

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Cllr Alice McGarry, convener, will write to the Defence Minister to get an MoD representative to come to the next area meeting.

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