Network Rail apology as huge containers put on wildlife meadow in Burntisland

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Rail bosses have apologised to a Fife community after pouring gravel over a long-standing meadow and putting giant orange containers on it - without telling them.

Network Rail is carrying out work at the viaduct in Burntisland, and a compound for workers has been set up outside Burntisland Station where there are a number of studios.

The first locals knew of what was happening was when the land was covered with gravel for containers and equipment to be put on. They will be in place for the next six months, and Network Rail has been challenged to restore the land when it is finished.

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Councillor Kathleen Leslie (Kinghorn, Burntisland, and Western Kirkcaldy) said the compound was a “ bit of an eyesore” and she criticised the company for its lack of communication with local businesses and politicians.

The containers on what used to be a wildlife meadow (Pic: Kathleen Leslie)The containers on what used to be a wildlife meadow (Pic: Kathleen Leslie)
The containers on what used to be a wildlife meadow (Pic: Kathleen Leslie)

She Leslie said; “The Platform Studios at Burntisland Railway Station are a peaceful setting where small businesses work from. In front of them has been a longstanding wildflower meadow. It came as a surprise to everyone last week to find Network Rail had turned up and dumped gravel right across the meadow and installed containers and works equipment.

“I was first alerted to this last week and discovered that nobody had been informed. Whilst I accept the land may belong to Network Rail it is sheer arrogance to give zero thought to the Platform Studios, the local community and elected representatives. They claim to be all about sustainability and the environment yet have pretty much killed off a whole meadow right at the beginning of the summer.”

She has written to Network Rail to get a commitment it will restore the land after work is completed. The company has apologised for the lack of advance notice to the town.

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In a letter to Cllr Leslie, it said this “should not have happened” and its project team had been asked to provide more detailed information about the work taking place.

“The delay was due to seeking consent to work on a listed structure, but the project team has now accepted that you and your neighbouring businesses should have been informed about the work even if the listed consent had not been granted at the time.”Work is expected to be completed in early January.

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