“EVERY legal option available” should be used to force the owners of the environmental dump at Lathalmond to be cleared.

Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley urged the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and Fife Council to get tough with Trans-Brittania after the company “’reneged” on their promise to bring forward plans to remove the rubbish and clean up the site.

The 30-feet-high pile of waste has blighted the landscape at the M90 Commerce Park, near Kelty, for almost a decade since recycling firm ‘First Option Services’ ceased trading in June 2012.

SEPA told the MSP: “I can confirm that SEPA have attempted to contact the landowners and their representatives on a number of occasions during 2020. However, I am very disappointed to report that it appears that the owners of the site have reneged on the agreement made during a meeting in December 2019.

“This agreement was for Trans-Brittania to undertake an options appraisal and provide costed disposal options.

“Whilst representatives of the landowner submitted some very limited information to SEPA in early 2020, it had insufficient detail and, in some cases, was non-compliant with environmental legislation and therefore not appropriate to allow us to progress with discussions on a co-ordinated approach to removal with public sector partners. SEPA provided comprehensive feedback and advice but no further information was provided.”

They continued: “SEPA has initiated contact with Fife Council to establish if a joint enforcement approach can be taken to ensure the wastes are removed. Unfortunately, a significant cyber-attack, coupled with COVID restrictions, have severely limited SEPA’s ability to progress this issue recently.

“With COVID restrictions easing and progress to rebuild SEPA’s electronic systems under way, we will look to progress this issue as a matter of priority.”

Mr Rowley is calling for legal action to be taken against Trans-Brittania to clear the 7,000 tonnes of old carpets and plasterboard at the site.

He said: “Trans-Brittania cannot be allowed to get away with this any longer and I am now urging SEPA and Fife Council to examine all legal routes to get this company into the court and forced to do the right thing which is clean up this environmental disgrace that blights the entrance to the business park.

“The wealthy owners of this company cannot be allowed to get away with this and we need to now use every legal option available.”

The Press has reported previously that the estimated cost for the site could be as much as £1 million but no-one wanted to foot the bill.

Businessman Ramesh Dewan, who runs Trans-Britannia, felt he was “very much the victim here” and his firm provided a costed plan to SEPA after “constructive talks” at the end of 2019.

The former environment minister Mairi Gudgeon said taxpayers shouldn’t have to foot the clean-up costs and the landowner was responsible for removing the “environmental disaster”.

However, the law firm representing Mr Dewan disputed this and said he had already “sustained losses in excess of £1m as a result” of the tenant dumping waste on his land. He also raised an unsuccessful court action against the council for the estimated £1m clear-up costs in 2019.

In 2010, Mr Dewan leased the site to First Option Services Ltd, a waste management company that specialised in recycling materials including carpets, plastics and plasterboard, with Fife Council one of their main clients.

Around the Spring of 2012, First Option breached their permit 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.

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