THE demolition of an old house in Falkland to make way for a new nursing home has been criticised by some villagers.
Kingdom Homes are replacing Edward House - known locally as Lomond Vale - with a purpose-built 50-bed facility, scheduled to open next spring.
Lomond View Nursing Home will be the ninth care home in the group, which also owns the home at Preston Roundabout in Glenrothes.
The bungalow which sat in the grounds behind Edward House - formerly a nursing home - has been demolished and work has started to strip out the interior of the house before demolition of the building begins.
Susan Paterson is one of the villagers who believes that something is being lost with the demolition of what she called “this lovely old building”, and is also unhappy about the way fauna in the area has been treated.
“All the mature trees surrounding it were felled and the flowering bushes all removed,” she explained.
“A lot of the trees were large conifers which had overgrown their situation, but there have always been bats around in the evening and thought to have roosted there as did the collar doves.”
There had been discontent about the plan when it first emerged around four years ago, but Ms Paterson added: “No-one objects to a new old folks home being built in the town, just the demolition of a fine old building.”
“There is nothing structurally wrong with it - it is a fine building. It shouldn’t be demolished.”
Anthony Garrett, chairman of the Royal Burgh of Falkland and Newton of Falkland Community Council, said the issue had come before the council on several occasions since the proposal first emerged four years ago.
He said: “The community council were unhappy about demolition and sympathised with neighbours about possible disturbance, so made formal objection, although we appreciated the benefits of a care home to the community.”
Kingdom Homes managing director, Colin Smart, said: “Full planning permission was received from Fife Council for this development, including the demolition of the existing buildings.
“There was much debate at the time and all neighbour comments were considered by the council.
“As part of the conditions imposed by the council a tree retention plan was agreed and we have implemented this plan.
“The large conifers to the front elevation were not part of this retention plan.
“One of the big issues with these particular trees was that they had been allowed to grow out of control and the roots were pushing against and displacing the front boundary wall.
“This in time would have caused this wall to fail.
“Trees at the boundary to the field have also been removed as they were also too close to the boundary and this wall did fail some months ago partly as a result of the tree roots.
“We tried very hard to come up with a proposal which met the operational requirements of a modern care home within a converted existing building, but unfortunately we had to finally concede that the existing building was not suitable for conversion because of the room sizes and internal layout, including a major problem caused by an internal flight of stairs linking two floor levels.”