Burntisland Port: Demo helps campaign group to lodge ‘right to buy’ bid

A march and rally to save historic public access to Burntisland Port has been hailed a huge success.

By Allan Crow
Tuesday, 30th November 2021, 2:28 pm

Hundreds of local people turned out on Saturday to back a demo by Burntisland Harbour Access Trust – and helped the group hit its target of 1000 names to register its ‘right to buy’ bid under the Land Reform Act.

The action came after a bid to fence off the working part of the area by Forth Ports was given the green light by Fife Council.

The trust argues the move will end public access for the first time in living memory, and it said it was delighted with the response to Saturday’s march which started at the Beacon Leisure Centre and ended at the harbour.

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Save Burntisland Harbour march (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

Andy Pay, trust spokesman, said: “It went fantastically well. It exceeded all our expectations.

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"It gave our campaign to buy a fantastic boost. You could see the passion of the people who turned out.”The event featured several speeches as well as music with song about Sammy the tame seal which often visits the harbour.

Forth Ports insists public access will be maintained once fences go up, but the issue has proved hugely contentious among locals who say the port has been used by walkers, cyclists anglers, photographers and wildlife enthusiasts for generations and is an integral part of the town.

The marchers turned out in their hundreds (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

The trust argues the fencing will, for the first time in living memory, end public access to the harbour and sea-wall.

And it has put forward alternative proposals to ensure the work of the port can be done safely without cutting off access.

Added Mr Pay: “Under the plans there will be a narrow path left.

Placards from the protest (Pic: Fife Photo Agency)

“We accept it is a working port, and have no problem with that part being fenced off, but it is only operational on one side

“The other side isn’t operational - no activity has been carried out there for years.

“We have made a number of suggestions on how this can be done while still allowing public access.

“Lots of harbours across the country are working ports and people can still access them safely.”

Forth Ports plans to fence off part of the harbour were approved by councillors in September.

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