THE failure to clear a 30 foot pile of rubbish that's lain untouched for a decade is giving others the idea they can get away with dumping waste there too.

That's the fear of Mid Scotland and Fife MSP Alex Rowley after members of the public reported fly-tipping at the M90 Commerce Park at Lathalmond, near Kelty.

The Labour politician has been fighting for years to get 7,000 tonnes of old carpets and plasterboard removed from a site there, but the issue has now turned into a protracted legal battle.

The clean-up costs have been estimated to be at least £1 million and now another area of the commerce park has seen piles of rubbish, including old tyres and building debris, left there.

Times reader Tony Pirouet sent in these photos and said: "Following on from the waste dumped at Lathalmond, I have come across this absolute disgusting mess on another part of the site."

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency had gone to court and served a statutory notice on the landowner, Trans-Britannia, in November under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

It required the company, run by businessman Ramesh Dewan, to remove the external waste by this month and the waste from unit 3 by December 1, 2022.

However, an appeal was lodged and SEPA told the Times this week that legal action is ongoing and they were unable to comment further.

Mr Rowley said: "I drive by there and visually it's a complete pigsty of a place and, therefore, I think it would attract people to think they can get away with fly-tipping there.

"That comes down to the people that own the company who need to get moving with a solution to have the whole site cleared up."

It's 10 years ago this month that recycling firm First Option Services Ltd, who had leased the site from Trans-Britannia, stopped trading and left behind the tonnes of waste.

It was discovered that the two men in charge of First Option, Michael Hope and James Winters, had breached their permit in Spring 2012 and were prosecuted.

When the case called at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in June 2016, they admitted 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 received community payback orders but, crucially, were not ordered to clear the huge piles of rubbish as part of their sentence and no-one wants to pay the clean-up costs, which are well into seven figures.

Mr Dewan's representative previously told the Times that he felt he was "very much the victim here” as it was the tenants, and not his firm, that left the environmental dump and he had already “sustained losses in excess of £1m as a result”.

He raised an unsuccessful court action against the council for the estimated £1m clear-up costs in 2019.

The local authority was one of a number of customers of First Option but said they had "no legal liability to pay for the removal of this waste".

Mr Rowley, Fife Council and SEPA say the landowner is ultimately responsible and want Trans-Britannia to act.

The firm had made an agreement to undertake an options appraisal and provide costed disposal options in December 2019 but SEPA said the firm had "reneged" on the agreement.

The environment watchdog then went down the legal route but the appeal will further delay any solution.