AN AGREEMENT has been reached which will see the long-awaited removal of an eyesore on the M90 Commerce Park at Lathalmond – but it could be another seven years before the site is cleared.

The smelly 30-feet high pile of old carpets and plasterboard has been left next to the Scottish Vintage Bus Museum for years however SEPA this week confirmed that an end to the situation is planned by 2030.

The announcement has already been branded a "disappointment" by one Fife MSP who has called into question the timescale and the legalities of the agreement.

Dunfermline Press:

READ MORE: SEPA say work ongoing to tackle Lathalmond eyesore

Confirming the development, a spokesperson for SEPA said: "An agreement is now in place between SEPA and The Dewan Foundation Limited, the owners of the M90 Commerce Park, whereby The Dewan Foundation Limited will voluntarily use its charitable funds to clear the waste deposited in the first instance by First Options Services Ltd.

"The site will be cleared and restored to commercial use by August 2030.

"Movement of the externally stored waste carpets commenced at the end of July 2023. Given that this has been the most visually impacting waste, we hope that this act by the Dewan Foundation Limited will be welcomed by the local community.

"Final disposal of the carpet and plasterboard wastes will be via authorised waste management disposal routes, recycling or recovering energy from incineration of this waste being the preferred options.

"A phased removal period has been agreed, primarily due to the limited recycling options for waste plasterboard in Scotland, which necessitate a longer clearance timescale."

The site at the entrance to the Lathalmond M90 Commerce Park was operated by First Option Services, who specialised in recycling materials including carpets, plastics and plasterboard until the business ceased trading in June 2012.

Dunfermline Press: Work is continuing to find a solution to clear the tonnes of waste at Lathalmond.

The two men in charge of the company, Michael Hope and James Winters, received community payback orders at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in June 2016 after admitting keeping controlled waste – approximately 3,500 tonnes of waste carpet and 3,500 tonnes of waste plasterboard – in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

However, no orders were made to clear the site and SEPA, Fife Council and the landowners had been unable to reach a solution until now.

Alex Rowley MSP, who has campaigned for years for the the area to be cleared, described the development as "disappointing" and said "serious" questions still needed to be answered.

He has written to SEPA asking if the announcement was "the best SEPA can do"?

He wrote: "As someone who has campaigned for years to get SEPA and the government to force action on the polluters and get this environmental damage addressed I have to say I am extremely disappointed that this is the outcome.

"You may say at least you have reached an agreement but another seven years could hardly be described as a successful outcome.

"We need much greater clarity on the timelines of the actions and we must understand what legal agreements are being put in place to ensure that this actually happens, otherwise this agreement is not worth the paper it is written on."

Mr Rowley said he had several concerns over the clean up proposals.

"When I think of the years I had to fight to get anyone to accept responsibility for trying to get it cleaned up. I had been told we will be able to give you good news in October so when I opened it (the announcement email) up, I couldn't believe it," he said.

"The crucial point, in my view, is this a legally abiding agreement?

"Somebody may say that some news is better than no news but the reality is, I am not convinced it is a legally minding contract. There is very little detail whatsoever – there are serious questions to be answered.

"If it is a case we need to strengthen the laws, I will go and bring forward a members' legislation if necessary. I had been told they were working towards a legal agreement.

"I am really disappointed I have to say."

SEPA's announcement was welcomed by Dunfermline MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville who said she would seek regular updates to ensure the clear up is on schedule.

"This news comes as a huge relief for our local community, who have waited years for a resolution to this impasse," she said. "I want to pass on my thanks to SEPA and The Dewan Foundation for reaching this agreement, which will finally see all the materials on site removed and disposed of.

"I am keen, however, that efforts are made to ensure that any items that can be recovered are re-used or recycled to avoid unnecessary waste."