A TRAVELLERS’ site at Kirkcaldy’s main business park has sparked debate over illegal encampments and proposals for stop-over sites in the town.
The camps, situated in two separate parts of the John Smith Business Park, are causing controversy among Kirkcaldy residents who say the view of the caravans while driving into the town is off-putting.
However, John Mills, housing manager, said the travellers are expected to move on from the Council-owned land soon.
He told the Press: “The first encampment has been there for some weeks.
‘‘They have been working with us and will be moving on to another site soon. We are currently taking legal action against the second group in order to have them evicted - if they are not interested in working with us we will seek eviction through the High Court.”
A number of locals contacted the Press about the site.
One Dunnikier resident said: “The area is already moving to an environmental disaster - and once again we will pick up the bill.
‘‘With the High Street declining we now have a very poor situation developing near to our business centre. How can we attract new business when we have this on our doorstep?”
The encampment has been seen by many as a reason to push ahead with controversial plans to build Scotland’s first stop-over sites for gypsy travellers in the Kingdom.
They are planned for Cardenden, Crail and Cairneyhill, and then for Kirkcaldy and Dunfermline should the initial sites work.
It would also mean police could move illegal encampments on without having to go to court.
Councillor Donald Macgregor, vice-chairman of the housing and communities committee, said: “I’m aware it’s difficult to find a suitable site in Kirkcaldy at the moment, although it is one of the areas in Fife with the most illegal encampments.
‘‘There are stop over sites which are very successful, and this would mean there would be more enforcement around illegal campsites.”
Alex Burns, chairman of Cardenden’s Community said the village is “100 per cent” against the stop-over proposals, and would “fight tooth and nail” to have the plans scrapped.
He said: “The Council hasn’t thought this through - there are so many issues surrounding this location, including access and flooding. It is not listening to the community.”
l This week a police investigation was sparked after anonymous posters, allegedly inciting hate crime, were put up around Cardenden opposing the plans.