Developers of Prestonhill Quarry in Inverkeithing have “shafted” the community, according to local diving instructor Craig Burles.

He hit out after plans submitted by DDR (UK) Ltd last week revealed that the quarry pond would be infilled partially or wholly in new proposals – sinking proposals for a diving centre.

Craig said: "It’s been cut out completely and they haven’t even had the decency to tell us – it was a huge shock. As far as I can see they are not giving anything back and have totally shafted the community who were generally in support of it before.”

As previously reported, the mixed-use development includes proposals for 180 new homes, including 45 affordable homes, holiday chalets, open space and landscaping, while the woods would also be protected.

But the latest application mentions the "regrading of the quarry cliff face and infilling (partially or wholly) of the quarry pond".

Craig and business partner Andrew Murray were in discussion with Prestonhill Developments Ltd over the past few years, making plans for a diving centre and around 100 homes at the site.

And he said an agreement was in place with the new developer (DDR) and new investors who have tabled the latest planning application.

Craig said he met with project manager Donald McCorquodale and was reassured that there were still plans for a diving centre amongst the proposals.

However, he said they were "totally blindsided" by the news that the developers have no such plans.

“We have always been involved in discussions with developers over the last few years who thought the site had great potential but wanted us to manage the pond to make it secure,” Craig explained.

“Even when these new developers came along we were assured that a diving centre would go ahead but it wasn’t until the Press reported that plans had been submitted that we realised they had no intention of doing that."

He said the creation of a diving centre and cafe would bring jobs and recreational activities.

Craig, who has been training divers for 15 years at the quarry, said: “It’s absolutely scandalous that they are doing this.

"So many different clubs use the quarry for diving, kayaking, fishing, rock climbing and there is so much wildlife flourishing in the quarry too. The community is saddened by the potential loss.”

Craig is now gathering support from a range of groups to campaign to protect the quarry.

“They have been promising one thing and have done something totally different,” he said.

“We cannot trust them so the best we can do now is forget the diving centre and protect the quarry pond. We will do everything we can to try and keep it.”

Project manager Mr McCorquodale said: “On behalf of the investors and developers, I have had a number of discussions with the divers.

“Last week I met face to face with Craig to discuss in detail the challenges of utilising the quarry as a diving centre. Paramount in all of this was the absolute safety of the whole community in the long term and that is not up for compromise.

“We proposed an alternative solution of support for the divers, which Craig enthusiastically embraced and we agreed to develop the alternative concept together and continue our discussions.

"That opportunity still remains. We will continue in our discussions with the community, listen to their views and concerns and modify our proposals to be as inclusive as possible.”