News story

Future plans for Dalgety Bay

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

MOD has published a report setting out plans to manage radium contamination at Dalgety Bay in Fife.

Dalgety Bay [Picture: Copyright Amec]
Dalgety Bay

Commissioned by the Ministry of Defence (MOD)’s Defence Infrastructure Organisation and endorsed by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), the report recommends a number of measures that will address and manage the contamination, so that the local community can continue to use the bay.

Actions such as the removal of radioactive material, reinforcement and replacement of costal rock armour and the construction of a replacement slipway at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club are recommended in the report. Work is expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The MOD has agreed in principle to implement these measures, providing it can obtain firm agreement from Fife Council, through further detailed discussions, to meet the costs of maintaining the coastal defences into the longer term. SEPA has already agreed in principle to continue monitoring the beach once the measures are installed.

Defence Minister Andrew Murrison said:

We are committed to supporting the Dalgety Bay community and, whilst the risk to the public has always been very low, this report sets out a clear and strong strategy to address the radium contamination on the beach.

We continue to work with SEPA and the council to achieve agreement on their future responsibilities and a definitive solution as soon as possible.

Calum MacDonald, Executive Director of SEPA, said:

The proposed works outlined today by MOD provide a long-term solution to the radium contamination of Dalgety Bay which if successful will allow the public to use the entire area again in an unrestricted manner.

We welcome the proposals and will continue to work with MOD, Fife Council and other partners as detailed plans for the works are developed and implemented.

If these works are completed successfully, SEPA considers that this will allow the closure of this long running issue.

This report follows detailed investigation and a 3-year monitoring and recovery exercise which enabled SEPA to assess the health risks associated with the radium contamination. The MOD is continuing the monthly monitoring programme, which, together with advisory signs and other precautionary measures, is ensuring the risk to the public remains very low.

Councillor David Ross, Leader of Fife Council, said:

I am pleased with the commitment in principle from MOD to deliver the necessary remedial coastal protection works.

The council looks forward to being involved through the design and planning phases and in the development and implementation of the proposals.

The council has a statutory duty for coastal protection and will continue to play this role with due diligence. In principle this could include taking responsibility for long term maintenance on coastal protection measures put in place by the MOD.

Published 11 July 2014