A CALL for changes to the law so historic buildings are not lost in Fife has been made.

Fife Council service manager Bill Lindsay made the appeal after concern was raised over Killernie Castle in Saline.

Locals reported on social media that the remains of the building had been knocked down by the landowner because of safety concerns.

Within the last week, the remains of the monument have now been designated as a "scheduled monument" by Historic Environment Scotland (HES).

Mr Lindsay told the Press that the council had acted to try to protect the historic monument by alerting HES, who can provide legal protection under the Ancient Monuments and Archaeological Areas Act Scotland 1979.

"This case has highlighted weaknesses in the current legislation in that the owner was able to demolish the castle before the appropriate protection could be put in place," he said.

"We are deeply disappointed by the owner's actions. Legislative changes are needed to stop this sort of thing from happening again and we'll be continuing discussions with colleagues at HES to see how we can support them in this."

Local resident Derek Robertson said many in the community were "up in arms" about the castle, which dates back to 1592.

"I think people think maybe a fence should have been put around it instead of demolishing it," he explained. "The landowner, I think, didn't want anyone to get hurt but maybe putting a fence round it could have done that."

A spokesperson for Historic Environment Scotland said: “Killernie Castle was designated as a scheduled monument on 27th August following a consultation process which heard the views of the owner, the local authority and others within the local community.

“Scheduling is the process which identifies, designates and provides statutory protection for monuments of national importance.

“We are continuing to engage with the owner regarding the management of the site."