The former Co-op building in Albany Gate is one of five dilapidated properties earmarked for regeneration as part of Fife Council proposals.
In a report prepared for Glenrothes Area Committee today (Wednesday), Ian McCrory, lead officer for regeneration has highlighted five ‘eyesores’ with the potential for Council intervention.
As well as the former Co-op store, built in 1964, are a derelict house at 254 High Street and the Budgie’s Warehouse building in Leslie, a former five-a-side complex at Viewfield and Glenwood Shopping Centre.
In the report, Mr McCrory says: “Tackling dilapidated properties is a significant undertaking, although the majority of the financial burden is the responsibility of private owners.
“There is no dedicated Council budget for tackling issues of dilapidation but area and town centre budgets might assist efforts in some cases.
“The opportunity to recharge costs to private owners will also be pursued where relevant.
“A significant financial responsibility falls on property owners but many are unable to raise finance in the current, difficult financial climate to address the issues.
“Without intervention, the costs associated with remedying these issues are likely to rise further.
“There are indirect costs to Fife’s economy and communities from these eyesores.”
But Councillor Ross Vettraino believes while the proposals are well intentioned progress may not be as straightforward as hoped.
“With the Albany Gate building still leased by CIS/AXA and others in private ownership that could leave Fife Council hand-tied,” he told the Gazette.
“There was a move to turn the former Co-op building into retail units several years ago and that came to nothing.
“We therefore need to work closely with owners offering support and encouragement at every opportunity to bring these buildings back to their true potential.
“The option of the Council taking compulsory ownership should only be seen as an absolute last resort,” he added.