A Fife community group that says it feels “sidelined” is set to protest against a new high-security fence planned at Burntisland Harbour.
Forth Ports was given approval for its plans to build the fence at Burntisland Harbour in September despite objections from locals.
Council planners had said the fence and gates were ”justified as being required on health and safety grounds as well to make the site safe and secure”.
But those objecting fear it exclude the public access to large parts of the harbour, which have been enjoyed for centuries.
In a last-ditch effort to stop the fence from being installed, Burntisland Harbour Access Trust (BHAT) is attempting to register to purchase the land through community right to buy legislation.
The law allows communities to register an interest in land or property and potentially take it over.
Over 3,000 people have signed a petition against the fence, and BHAT is planning a march and rally on November 27 in an effort to raise awareness for their effort.
The march will start at Beacon water-front and before going to the old Railway Station in Burntisland, where there will be speeches and community singing of the campaign song “Who’ll Feed Sammy” – a tame seal that visits the harbour for handouts of fish from the locals.
“With feelings in the town still running high, a good turnout is anticipated,” BHAT said.
“We want the harbour to remain a community resource, accessible to all, and we want it ‘developed’ in a sustainable way that benefits the community.
‘We were sidelined’
“We’ve tried fighting the fence but we had no control and limited influence, we were sidelined, we had no power,” they said.
BHAT said the greatest control would come with owning the land: “If we own it we have greater control than those who don’t as that’s the system we live in.”
Explaining the fence, a spokesperson for Forth Ports said: “As the owners of the port, we are legally responsible for ensuring the safety of everyone at the harbour.
Our plans will still enable the people of Burntisland to walk through the port, but safely and avoiding areas of higher risk
“We have consulted widely with community representatives and local politicians to outline our plans in detail ahead of this submission.
“We have no intention to close off the whole of the Port of Burntisland.
“Our plans will still enable the people of Burntisland to walk through the port, but safely and avoiding areas of higher risk.”