Catch22: A dilemma not a forthcoming movie ...

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DRAMATIC new images of a possible new cinema at the site of a former Kirkcaldy hotel have been published.

But the developer says he has been put in a catch 22 situation by planning bosses.

Robert Kilgour, chief executive of Dow Investments, which owns the former Station Hotel on Bennochy Road, says the plan is in development limbo because no cinema operator will confirm with him until he has received permission to demolish the hotel ... and the Council will not allow him to knock it down unless he has confirmed interest from an operator.

Mr Kilgour (pictured) wants to lodge a planning application for the five screen, 1000 seat cinema in the next few weeks.

He said it would create 25-30 full time jobs plus work during construction.

He said: “We haven’t got an operator signed up.

‘‘ We’re back to the some old situation where operators are not interested until they have assurances that we have permission to demolish the building.

‘‘But there will be jobs created in the construction as well as in the operation of the cinema.”

Dow Investments had applied for conservation area planning permission to demolish the empty hotel, most recently used as a care home, but were refused by the Council on the recommendation of Historic Scotland. An appeal to the Scottish Government was also overturned in November 2010.

Mr Kilgour also expressed concern that other plans currently in the pipeline in Kirkcaldy - such as the Mercat expansion plan, which includes a cinema - could have an effect on his proposals.

He said: “I knew it would be an issue for us that an operator would want to assure themselves that the Mercat wouldn’t go ahead before they confirmed with us.

“I have a slight concern because I don’t want to find when we apply that they are tying it in with the Mercat because the cinema is part of that development

“I just hope we don’t get the same kind of non-decisions that Morrisons have been experiencing in Invertiel.

“Despite the economic climate there are things which can be done in Kirkcaldy. They should be promoting this kind of investment rather than being a barrier to it.”