An illegal travellers’ camp is forcing business owners to work round-the-clock because of the fear of break-ins, it’s claimed.
The proprietors of several small firms have told the Gazette they have been given no alternative but to conduct a 24-hour shift because of the encampment of around 30 caravans and other vehicles which have illegally pitched up on land off Whitehill Road.
Asking not to be identified for fear of reprisals, one owner said he had decided to stay at the unit permanently until the camp gets evicted,
“A number of fellow owners have got together and the feeling is we have no choice – to leave the units unprotected would risk our whole livelihoods,” one owner said.
Owners claim a number of vacant units on the site have already been broken into and have called on the authorities to do more to help those responsible for the site in securing an eviction order.
Because the land is privately owned, it’s up to the owner, not Fife Council to bring court proceedings in order to move on the encampment.
Lindsey Kerr from the Edison Commercial Property Management, the firm looking after the interests of the site because owners Lincoln Land Ltd are in administration, said they are keen to see the travellers vacate the site but are being hamstrung by the legal process.
“We are in discussion with our solicitor and Fife Council over the problem but we can’t apply for an eviction order unless we have individual names, which clearly we do not have,” said Mr Kerr.
“We are continuing to monitor the situation with business owners at the site.
“It is a highly unusual situation and one we have not experienced before, by their very nature, travellers camps are usually temporary and we hope this will be the case with the one we are experiencing here.”