A cross-party group of Fife politicians are campaigning against the B-listing awarded to what they regard as “eyesore” gasholders.
Dunfermline Central councillors – Conservative Alan Craig, Labour’s Jim Leishman and Garry Haldane and Dunfermline area convener Helen Law – have joined forces with SNP MP Douglas Chapman and MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville to object.
The huge Grange Road gasholders have been B-listed by Historic Environment Scotland but owner SGN is appealing the decision to the Planning and Environmental Appeals Department.
Like all gas providers across the UK, SGN has a statutory obligation to dismantle gasholders by 2029.
This is to mitigate the risk to the environment as well as tackling the poor condition of some of the structures.
The gasholders at Grange Road are deemed to be a perfect example of this, with ongoing maintenance costs and safety a major concern.
The politicians argue they detract from possible investment in the site and that it is highly unlikely a viable alternative use exists.
At some point in the next five years the gasholder frames will need to be repainted at an estimated cost of £300,000.
If the listing remains, then the costs of maintenance could triple.
Mr Craig said their retention was detracting from potential redevelopment on a brownfield site, adding: “They are an eyesore, which serves to bring no benefit to the local area.”
Mr Chapman added the listing could only be detrimental to this part of Dunfermline when Fife Council was looking to increase employment and residential opportunities.
“The gasholders as they stand at Grange Road provide no significant purpose and it is illogical to continue to maintain these, as they have both a negative environmental and economic impact on the locality,” he said.
Mr Haldane said the removal of the “eyesore” would greatly benefit the local community.
A Scottish Government spokesman confirmed an appeal had been lodged to include the two gasholders.
“An independent reporter from DPEA has been appointed to determine the appeal.
“He will consider all the evidence submitted by parties involved in this case and has carried out an inspection of the appeal site.
“As this is a live case it would not be appropriate to comment on the merits of the case,” he added.
A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: “At the invitation of SGN, we assessed a number of gaswork sites across Scotland for listing.
“We listed four sites and we are aware that SGN is currently appealing the designation of three of those sites, Temple and Provan and Dunfermline.
“The appeal is currently with the DPEA and we are awaiting their decision.”