Glenrothes traveller site plans scrapped

Plans for a traveller site in Glenrothes have been scrapped
Plans for a traveller site in Glenrothes have been scrapped

Controversial plans to locate a temporary gypsy traveller camp close to residents and businesses in Glenrothes has been scrapped.

A number of potential sites in the Whitehill and Southfield areas had been earmarked by Fife Council for consideration, prompting anger and two petitions from residents.

I will be happy to have the same discussions with the businesses from Southfield and Whitehill

Cllr David Ross

The move was part of the Council’s efforts to avoid a repeat of last year’s problems which saw Glenrothes beset by 13 illegal traveller encampments, resulting in £45,000 worth of legal and clean-up costs.

Now the local authority has confirmed no suitable sites have been identified.

David Ross, leader of the administration, has offered to meet with businesses in Southfield and Whitehill to discuss their concerns and how the Council can work with them to address the issues.

“We had a very useful meeting with businesses from Eastfield last year about how we can work together to address the problems caused by unauthorised encampments, and I will be happy to have the same discussions with the businesses from Southfield and Whitehill,” said Mr Ross.

“Following representations from businesses and the Chamber of Commerce, I have undertaken to look again at the current agreed approach of trying to identify pilot seasonal sites at the periphery of industrial areas.

“An early report will be made to the executive committee to enable councillors to have this discussion.”

Mr Ross admitted he was still concerned that the lack of a suitable site could mean a repeat of problems experienced last year.

“That is not acceptable to me and I am sure not acceptable to the businesses.

“We will continue to press the Lord Advocate’s office and the police to ensure appropriate enforcement action against problems caused by unauthorised encampments.”

Peter Scobie, from Pitteuchar, Stenton and Finglassie Community Council, welcomed the decision.

“Finally, some common sense but, after the problems experienced last year, why are we only dealing with them now? It’s too late.” Mr Scobie told the Gazette.