It was little over two and a half years ago that Kenneth and Patricia Donaldson moved into their farm cottage near the tranquil Loch Leven Nature reserve. They were attracted to the local beauty spot for its peaceful outlooks surrounded by scores of wildlife, including ospreys, red squirrels and 20,000 pink-footed geese.

At certain times of year when the sun sets, the whole loch catches ablaze. You can see eagles soar, watch as waders plunge their necks into the waters. Go further along, and you can see children, wide eyed with wonder, scramble about the RSPB reserve nearby, climbing the local hills.

But their hopes for a quiet retirement have been left shattered on learning that they also now live next door to a site earmarked for industrial development. They fear their quiet rural home straddling Fife and Perthshire is about to be ruined by lorries passing 500 times a day.

Their home backs onto a site where developers are controversially planning to build a waste incinerator.

The moved into the cottage just before developers logged the controversial plans.

Now Kenneth is worried about the effect of noise and pollution on the area, as well as the wider environmental impact on the neighbouring nature reserve.

Kenneth said: “We’re worried about the noise and disruption, pollution and the health impact, both on people and animals.

“We are constantly trying to rid out towns and cities of vehicles, but what's the point if they are just driven out into the countryside. It seems hypocritical."

The masterplan to transform the 423-hectare Westfield opencast mine, which has lain dormant since 1998, originally centered on a huge solar farm with scattered light industrial units.

However site owner Hargreaves Services have been accused of going back on its word to build a green energy park after it emerged plans had changed to include the waste-burning facility and also a gas-fuelled power plant.

Main access for the proposed plant would be along the B9097, which runs past the RSP Loch Leven site and directly alongside the accompanying heritage trail.

Kenneth says he and his neighbours, which include an elderly woman who has lived in the area for 16 years, have been kept in the dark about the precise impact of the development – which they believe could see a lorry pass their homes every two or three minutes.

Green activist and former BBC Scotland environmental correspondent Louise Batchelor, who lives in Scotlandwell, near the proposed site, believes the incinerator is unnecessary.

She said: “What was presented in the original application as a green energy proposal with lots of jobs is turning out to be a conventional incinerator with all its polluting implications."

Louise added: "There’s evidence to suggest that where incinerators have been built, recycling decreases.

"There is huge anxiety on the Perth & Kinross side of the border about the amount of extra traffic, including 500 HGVs a day, which will be using the B9097, the sole access to the site."

The RSPB also fear the impact of the increased HGV traffic on visitors to the heritage trail.

A spokesperson for the wildlife charity said: “Along with other neighbouring businesses and families, we continue to have significant concerns regarding the safety risks to visitors to RSPB Scotland Loch Leven and the Loch Leven Heritage Trail arising from the predicted enormous increase in HGV movements on the B9097 that will be generated by the proposed development at Westfield.”

Fife Council approved a provisional outline of the plant in autumn last year.

If the detailed planning application is greenlit, construction could begin as early as January 2019.

Now the Scottish Greens are also spearheading a campaign to halt plans for the incinerator.

Local MSP Mark Ruskell accused developers of "greenwashing" plans for the site.

He said: “The former mining communities around Westfield vividly remember the dirty days of coal, and have been living with the environmental and health consequences ever since.

"They deserve a regeneration plan that puts green energy and sustainable development at its heart – not burning the nation’s rubbish on their doorstep.”

However Hargreaves insist the site needs a backup energy source if it is to attract other businesses to the site.

Iain Cockburn, CFO of Brockwell Energy, the subsidiary of Hargreaves specialising in the development of the site, said: "Our October 2016 planning submission included a comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment in terms of traffic, landscape, ecological impact [and] all other potential impacts that might arise from development and restoration activities …

"Brockwell and Hargreaves strongly believe that Westfield must have a green renewable energy focus but needs a balanced range of energy generation types if other businesses are going to be attracted to it and the green on-site energy generation used by businesses on the site.”

A spokesperson for Fife Council said the site’s planning application is open for comments until September 27.