THE owners of the Dockyard Digs have failed to persuade Fife Council that the temporary accommodation is still needed in Rosyth.

Capital and Provincial Ltd had submitted an application for review after permission to extend the timescale was denied earlier this year.

They had argued that the 62 'pods' should stay in place until the end of December 2023 to house workers building five new frigates at the dockyard for the Royal Navy.

However, last week, the Fife Planning Review Body refused both of the company's applications and said the temporary accommodation, installed in 2014 on the site of the former Forth Families Social Club site on Castle Road, would have to go.

Councillor Alice McGarry said: “My feeling is that the dockyard is back to normal business.

“Why there is now a need for this temporary accommodation I don’t really know. 

"The overriding national interest has gone back to normal business and we need to move on from here and start to regenerate that area.”

Each pod has its own sleeping area, kitchen, breakfast bar and bathroom and they were erected for workers building the Queensferry Crossing and the two aircraft carriers, HMS Queen Elizabeth and HMS Prince of Wales.

However, the two contracts are complete and permission for the accommodation ran out in December 2019.

An attempt to extend the timescale failed in February.

In their appeal, Capital and Provincial argued that the accommodation would be needed for workers assembling the new Type 31 frigates, part of a £1.25 billion contract that was awarded to Babcock last year, and "continue to play a supporting role and benefit the local and national economy".

This work is expected to be ongoing until 2023.

The four councillors in attendance at the review body did not reach an agreement and the applications were refused.

Cllr McGarry said the dockyard workforce had “reduced significantly” since the crossing and aircraft projects were completed and there was accommodation available in the local area to house incoming workers.

She added: “The need for these pods, if there was ever a need in the first place, has gone. The need for regeneration of that part of Rosyth is really quite pressing.”

However, Cllr Ross Paterson said: “If there are going to be jobs because we are going to build these new frigates we want them to come to Fife. We need to have accommodation for those workers.”

Cllr Bill Porteous added: “They’re there to serve a purpose and we still need to remember that we’re in this COVID-19 situation for months, maybe years.

“I’m in favour of extending the usage through to the beginning of the building of the frigates and Fife Council can put in a planning application for highly-needed new houses in tandem with this."