FIFE COUNCIL bears a "responsibility" for the clear-up of the eyesore dump at Lathalmond, near Kelty, as a lot of the rubbish came from the local authority.

That's the view of MSP Alex Rowley, while the owner of the site, businessman Ramesh Dewan, believes he is "very much the victim here".

Mr Rowley has a list of the companies, local authorities and organisations who contracted to deliver their waste to the site and said that, as Fife Council was "one of the largest contributors", they should be part of the solution.

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP, and former leader of the council, added: "It is clear that the public sector was a major contributor to the dump and I take the view that Fife Council has more responsibility to assist in getting this cleaned up than they have been willing to take to date."

The 30-feet high rubbish dump at the M90 Commerce Park, on the outskirts of, Kelty contains around 7,000 tonnes of old carpets and plasterboard and has been an environmental eyesore for years.

Two men were prosecuted in 2016 but not ordered to clear the rubbish, while Mr Dewan raised an unsuccessful court action against the council for the estimated £1 million costs earlier this year.

Mr Rowley said: "I am now going back to the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment and seeking a meeting with her to push for more action given this latest information I have been able to gain.

"I am making this information available to her and calling for action.

"This should not have been allowed to happen and the people of West Fife must not, and cannot, be allowed to carry the can.

"This site must be cleaned up both from an environmental aspect and also from the aspect that this area can be developed to create more jobs and spend in the local area."

In 2010, Mr Dewan leased the site to First Option Services, a waste management company that specialised in recycling materials including carpets, plastics and plasterboard.

They were granted an exemption to store waste on the site, subject to limits on quantity and the time for which it was stored, with requirements that it was kept in a manner that did not endanger human health or harm the environment.

There were 39 customers of First Option, including construction, demolition, skip hire, recycling and waste firms, as well as Angus, East Lothian, Edinburgh, Falkirk, Fife, Perth and Kinross and Stirling councils, whose waste carpets and plasterboard ended up at the site.

Fife Council's contract saw workers deliver 1,267 tonnes of carpets and 685 tonnes of plasterboard to the site between March 2011 and June 2012.

Around the Spring of 2012, First Option breached the exemption and the two men in charge, Michael Hope and James Winters, were prosecuted.

They 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, they were not ordered to clear the huge pile of rubbish as part of their sentence.

In correspondence sent to Mr Rowley, Mr Dewan's lawyer said: "Our client is very much the victim here; the site is still let to First Options, who own the waste and are responsible for its removal. Insofar as the waste is an asset of the tenant, our client has no locus to interfere or deal with it.

"Suffice to say, as with Fife Council, no co-operation has been forthcoming from First Option. Nor have they been paying rent.

"Our client has no liability to remove the waste, however, is willing to co-operate with others, including (Scottish Environment Protection Agency) SEPA, Fife Council (and the other users of the site – the majority of whom were local authorities) and the tenant to work towards the remediation of the site.

"The lack of co-operation from those others is wholly disappointing and leaves our client in an impossible situation."

In his case at the Court of Session, Mr Dewan's bid to sue the council for £1m saw his lawyers argue that the council should have known First Option were breaching the exemption and were therefore liable for the costs following the breach.

In a written judgement in January, Lady Wolffe dismissed the action and found in favour of the council.

Linda Turner, service manager for the council, said this week: "Although Fife Council was one of a number of customers of the company operating from the site, the council has no legal liability to pay for the removal of this waste.

"This has now been confirmed following an unsuccessful court action raised by the owner of the site where he sought to recover removal costs from the council.

"However, we are liaising with SEPA, who are continuing discussions with the landowners in a bid to resolve this issue."