Developers are dialling up the pressure on local authorities to sell off green spaces that have been rundown by spending cuts.
Fife Council said their funding for parks and other outdoor areas has been slashed by a quarter, forcing some of them into disrepair.
In a report to MSPs, the council said: “This means less regular repairing of paths, benches and buildings and replanting of trees and shrubs.
“This is having an impact on the quality of green space, making it less attractive for people to use.
“This can lead to increased pressure to build houses on some green spaces, as developers argue that they are poor quality and not well used.”
The pressure group Edinburgh Green Spaces Forum said it is “astonishing” that green space funding is not protected as a statutory service, saying parks “will always lose” in the budget when weighed up against things like housing.
Kevin O’Kane, a green space officer at Fife Council, told Holyrood’s local government committee on Monday that “our capital budgets have all been slashed so just having money to repair things and improve things is a challenge”.
Graham Simpson, the Scottish Conservative MSP, said: “I think there is a risk if the money going into green spaces is being cut then they could get sold off and developed for something else.
“And that of course impacts on people’s health and wellbeing and I think it’s a real concern.”