Plans for short-stay traveller camps in Fife

Fife Council is to consider setting up four-to-six week temporary camps across the region.
Fife Council is to consider setting up four-to-six week temporary camps across the region.

The creation of a number of temporary traveller sites is being considered by Fife Council in a bid to reduce the amount of illegal camps set up across the region each year.

Fife suffered the second highest number of illegal encampments of all 32 Scottish local authorities, a new Scottish Government study has confirmed.

The report identified 58 unauthorised camps at 54 locations across Fife over the last three years.

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The council is now considering setting up a number of negotiated short-term parking places, open four to six weeks at a time, for nomadic gypsy travellers similar to an initiative developed by Leeds Council which has proved successful.

“Each year a number of families travel to Fife and temporarily stay in within the area,” said John Mills, head of Housing Services.

“As there are no recognised temporary sites within fife, visiting travellers use unorhorised sites.

“This can lead to challenges for traveller families and for the settled communityin dealing with these unauthorised encampments.”

An attempt by the Fife authority back in 2015 to create a seasonal traveller camp at Southfield in Glenrothes was fiersly opposed by businesses, residents and local politicians,

Meanwhile, improvements totaling £800,000, are nearing completion at Heatherywood traveller camp near Thornton, which has 18 pitches, as part of a £2m package of upgrades,

Facilities at Tarvit Mill in Cupar which with 20 pitches and Thorntonwood in Kelty, which has 12, will also be improved between now and 2021.

Improvements at Heatherywood include extending the amenity block and install new kitchens and bathrooms.

Travellers staying have tenancy agreements with the council and pay a weekly rent of £61. They are also required to pay Council Tax.