Radioactive contamination: Amended plan to clean up Fife beach

A SEPA sign warns of radiation of Dalgety Bay BeachA SEPA sign warns of radiation of Dalgety Bay Beach
A SEPA sign warns of radiation of Dalgety Bay Beach
Fife Council has approved plans to amend a £10.5m clean-up operation to deal with radioactive contamination on Dalgety Bay beach.

The new plans aim to ensure that particles are dealt with in a more efficient and 'streamlined' way.

The radioactivity was identified almost 30 years ago from scrapped WWII aircraft instrument panels - and has been at the centre of a long-running debate which has involved a number of politicians, including former Prime Minister, and local MP, Gordon Brown.

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The Ministry of Defence was named as the polluter by environmental watchdogs, and is responsible for the plans developed to combat the contamination.

In 2017, it got approval to remove radioactivity from land to the east and south east of the Ross plantation at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club.

It had previously said it expected the long-standing issue to be resolved by the end of 2018.

However, the timetable was delayed as result of restrictions on when work could take place due to the potential disturbance to wintering birds.

And it then faced further delays as a result of Covid 19.

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The latest changes now hope to mitigate potential further postponement.

The council has amended a condition on working time restrictions to allow for the building of the site compound all year round.

RSPB Scotland raised concerns that had the potential to disturb species using the Firth of Forth SPA and other designated sites.

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NatureScot raised no objection to the proposed installation of the temporary compound outwith the April-September period.

Further changes include the removal of a condition to demolish the jetty.

It was previously envisaged that a temporary jetty would be constructed to allow the sailing club to continue operations in the time between construction periods.

As a result of time restraints and design refinement, this has now been amended, and the eastern half of the existing eastern slipway will be refurbished to act as a temporary berthing facility.

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Full work at the site will commence in April 2021 and neighbours have been notified of the changes to the plans.

Construction firm Balfour Beatty will carry out the work on behalf of the Ministry of Defence.

> Hannah Brown is the Local Democracy Reporter for Fife & Angus

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