THE fair is unlikely to return to Levenhall, after two trials earlier this year led to a string of complaints about anti-social behaviour and vandalism.

Residents living near the site, which was used as a fairground venue until it was taken off East Lothian Council’s approved site list in 2003, said the two week-long trials had been a disaster.

They told a meeting of the council’s licensing sub-committee that they had people using their gardens as toilets and “scoping out” their houses.

And they said when they asked people visiting the fair not to block drives with their cars they were met with verbal abuse.

Out of 57 properties on Ravensheugh Road and Hope Place, which were affected by the trials, 38 signed a letter objecting to any further funfairs on the nearby land.

In a statement, they said: “The fairground has its own perimeter and within that is well managed; it is the fallout from that and what happens when people are leaving the fairground.

“In that two-week period we had people entering gardens and one report of someone looking through a window into a home, an attempted break-in at another and an increase in speculative roof repair and other services which was perceived as ‘scoping out’ houses.

“We do not want the fairground there, we do not think proposed conditions will make any difference.

“We do not understand the decision to bring something to our community which will increase anti-social behaviour in it.”

The sub-committee was meeting to hear the findings of a report into the two-week trial, which was held in April.

Ward councillor John Williamson told members that all four councillors in his ward objected to any proposals to bring the fair back to Levenhall.

And Police Scotland told the committee there was definitely an increase in anti-social behaviour when the fairground was held on the site.

In a report on the issues caused, it was revealed: “East Lothian Council Countryside reported a notable spike in anti-social behaviour during the occupancy of the funfair from youths gathering, setting a numebr of fires, a break-in to a council vehicle, theft and damage of ScottishPower equipment, new tree planting being destroyed, broken glass bottles across the site and amenities such as bins and public safety equipment being destroyed, all of which will have a replacement cost associated.”

However, a representative from one of the fairs trialled at Levenhall insisted that the fairground was not the cause of the problems.

He told the committee: “The fairground doesn’t cause anti-social behaviour in the town, the anti-social behaviour is already there.”

The committee agreed to note the report.

A spokesperson for the council said: “As a result of this there will be no change to the list of approved sites for fairgrounds – and so the Levenhall site will not be added.

“The trial period has finished and there are no plans for a further trial.”