ONE of Kirkcaldy’s most famous landmarks is set to disappear within the next fortnight.
Work has started on demolishing the building that was once home to the famous nightclub, Jackie O, as part of plans to transform the site into a hotel and luxury flats overlooking the River Forth.
The move comes after the derelict premises were bought by businessman, Alex Penman earlier this year.
As well as building a hotel and flats, he also proposes to include retail or commercial units in the new-look complex.
The businessman, who has built property across Kirkcaldy, has already applied for outline planning permission and if that is granted, it will kick-start the process to allow him to get the project underway.
Last week workmen began removing the roof and taking away asbestos from the boarded-up building and Mr Penman told the Press the former nightclub will be torn down within the next two weeks.
He said: “We are just waiting on the Council’s planning department to come to a decision on our application. We have fulfilled everything we have been asked to do.
‘‘A transport impact assessment and drainage assessment has been done and we are just waiting to hear if everything has been accepted and been put forward to the committee.
“Last week part of the roof came off. The rest should be coming down within the next two weeks. The soft furnishings have been taken off the inside the building and 90 per cent of it has been stripped out.
“For the local people seeing Jackie O coming down there will be a lot of memories, but we can’t stop progressing. The town centre badly needs a lift.”
He added: “The building will be down in a couple of weeks and it will be fenced off while we are waiting on the planners making a decision.
‘‘If we get the go ahead for outline planning we will then go for full planning permission and if that is approved we should be able to start building next Spring.”
The proposed hotel will have 40 bedrooms and the building will also feature 20 luxury two-bedroomed apartments with four shops or commercial units.
Mr Penman believes his new project can only enhance the town: “It’s the ideal location for a hotel as it is a prominent site,” he said. “The design is really nice and it will make a lovely feature in the town.”
Mr Penman’s hotel plan is separate from the ambitious development proposals by City Site Estates, former owners of the Mercat.
In March 2011 it was given approval by Fife Council to begin its massive expansion plan which envisaged a glass building on the waterfront and an expanded Mercat which ran from the edge of Volunteers’ Green to the centre of the High Street.
A hotel, cinema and bowling alley all featured as part of the masterplan but it never came to fruition.