Beast from the East leaves giant hole in Kirkcaldy harbour wall

The growing hole in the rocks beneath the sea wall has caused concern for residents.
The growing hole in the rocks beneath the sea wall has caused concern for residents.

Residents in a housing development at Kirkcaldy Harbour are calling on Forth Ports to properly repair an ever-growing hole in the seawall as it poses a safety risk.

Locals living in Williamson’s Quay first became aware of the potential danger a few months ago after the gap emerged as a result of damage done by the sea during the ‘Beast from the East’ storms.

Forth Ports have cordoned the area off as they prepare to carry out  the remedial work as soon as possible.

Forth Ports have cordoned the area off as they prepare to carry out the remedial work as soon as possible.

Since then, they have reported the problem to Forth Ports and have been monitoring it. However, in recent weeks the hole has grown steadily bigger, causing the ground to fall away on the other side of the seawall in an area near the flats, along from the old harbour boat shed.

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The ground on the other side of the wall near the Williamson's Quay flats is now falling away. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

The ground on the other side of the wall near the Williamson's Quay flats is now falling away. Pic: Fife Photo Agency.

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One resident, who is a member of the Williamson’s Quay Tenants and Residents Association, has seen children playing near the gaping hole and climbing the seawall and is concerned they may get hurt.

The man, who declined to be named, has also noticed a crack along the seawall and believes it needs to be repaired before it causes a real problem.

He said: “The hole is getting steadily bigger and we just need another spell of really bad weather and it could take out that part of the seawall.

“I have tried to warn youngsters to stay away from the area but they don’t listen – it is very dangerous. The area has been cordoned off, but the wall needs to be properly repaired.”

He continued: “We have been in contact with Forth Ports and they came with more fencing to put round the area. But the problem was that fencing was taking up a lot of room on land that belongs to the residents and it is not a permanent solution.”

Ross Speirs, lead consultant – flooding, shoreline and harbours at Fife Council, said: “It is our understanding that Forth Ports own the whole seawall and the adjacent ground in this area. From recent contact with them, they are in the process of arranging the necessary repairs.”

A spokesperson for Forth Ports said representatives attended on Monday to install a temporary fence but were unable to do so due to land ownership issues. He continued: “We are aware of the problem with the breakwater at Kirkcaldy Harbour.

“The area has been cordoned off as a safety precaution and we are working on the design and marine consents required for the remedial work, which will be completed as soon as possible.”