MP NEALE HANVEY has demanded an urgent meeting with the Ministry of Defence after it was revealed last week that the department had failed to apply for the necessary licence to undertake remediation work at Dalgety Bay beach.

The MoD-commissioned work to remove radioactive pollution from the beach was scheduled originally to start this summer but delays have led to the work being pushed back.

At the South-West Fife area committee meeting last week, watchdog the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) revealed that no application or paperwork had been received by them from the MoD to allow the work to begin.

Mr Hanvey, who represents the town, has been left furious that local politicians and the community have seemingly been misled about the MoD’s commitment to the project, with Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay councillor David Barratt stating last week that they only got answers from the MoD if they wrote to the Press.

Mr Hanvey has now written to the Secretary of State for Defence to express his “extreme frustration and anger” on behalf of his constituents.

He said: “When it became clear that work on the site had not commenced in the summer as planned, I wrote to the MoD requesting an update.

“I then received a vague response from the Minister for Defence Procurement which failed to identify why the project had been delayed or provide an updated timeline.

“Now, my constituents and I must learn second-hand that the MoD had not even bothered to apply for the necessary licence to begin the work in the first place.

“It is completely unacceptable that my constituents and local elected representatives have once again been left in the dark about a project that has clearly been sidelined by the MoD.

“The people of Dalgety Bay have been repeatedly disrespected by the MoD through their failure to prioritise this work, and I will not allow it to go on any longer.

“That is why I have written to the Secretary of State demanding an urgent meeting to discuss this matter and ensure the project is back on track as quickly as possible.”

The South-West Fife area committee had requested an update to councillors from the MoD for their latest meeting but the department failed to respond.

An MoD spokesperson said: “Every effort was made to work with our partners to begin work on the removal of radiological contamination at Dalgety Bay this summer but regrettably the application for the necessary licence to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency has been delayed.

“Work is now expected to start in April 2021 – the next available opportunity to ensure there is no disturbance to wintering birds. This is in line with Scottish National Heritage guidelines.”