A RETAIL giant has confirmed it still plans to come to Glenrothes, reports MIKE DELANEY.
Tesco has shelved the opening of a new, bigger store in Cupar for at least a year.
It revealed that it was delaying building work and would review its proposal next January.
But the company insists that the decision will have no bearing on its aim of opening at Falkland Gate on the north side of the Kingdom Centre.
Tesco was given planning permission for the Cupar store nearly three years ago, but since then nothing has happened, aside from the company saying it that work would begin soon.
It’s the sort of scenario that might set alarm bells ringing in Glenrothes, where there has also been a long wait for a brick to be laid on the promised development.
The company has submitted planning applications for the store, and crucial associated car parking to Fife Council and mall owners, CIS, have begun paving the way for building with the gradual demolition of the New Glenrothes House multi-storey, the re-location of the Clydesdale Bank from the building to the unit formerly occupied by ‘Badgers’ pub and of a public art piece which has stood in neighbouring Falkland Square for decades to the Town Park near the Lidl store.
Tesco corporate affairs manager, Gloria Coats, said there was no question of the Glenrothes Development following Cupar into cold storage.
She said: “Tesco is committed to bringing a supermarket to Glenrothes town centre and we continue to move forward with our plans.
“Following the submission of our planning application to Fife Council in October, we have been working closely with officers to enable our plans to progress and we are hopeful for a committee date in the near future.
“This week the development took a major step forward, with the builders starting demolition of the New Glenrothes House office block, on behalf of CIS, and we can expect to see a lot of work on site going forward.
“In the meantime we will continue to work closely with the council regarding our proposals.
“We look forward to providing the local community with more access to value and choice in the town centre, in addition to creating up to 400 local job opportunities – up to 50 per cent of which will be reserved for the long term unemployed.”
The council confirmed it had received the applications for the store, they were currently being considered, but no date had yet been set for it to go to committee.
The assurance will come as a relief to those in favour of the store and who hope attracting a major retail player to the mall will encourage other big shops to come in.
It is ten years since Tesco first expressed an interest in coming to Glenrothes, but Sainsbury’s was long the frontrunner until its competitor was revealed as CIS’s ‘preferred bidder’.