New £10m plan on table to revamp Homebase building

An artists impression of the orginal design which was rejected by councillors back in June

An artists impression of the orginal design which was rejected by councillors back in June

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A revised planning application to split up the former Homebase store into smaller units has been lodged with Fife Council.

The application by owners Hammerson (Kirkcaldy) Ltd is for four units and two ‘pod units’ or smaller kiosk type food outlets, instead of the previous five units which were refused by Fife Council back in June.

This refused application is currently subject to an ongoing appeal to the Scottish Ministers.

The new proposals which were received on Monday, also include improvements to the frontage of the store, improved car parking and changes to the road layout.

A statement from Hammerson this week said: “Hammerson remains keen to invest in Kirkcaldy and further to lodging an appeal against the refused application is continuing to work with Fife Council to address the concerns raised by members.

“The proposals for a £10 million investment would reinvigorate the retail park, bringing new retailers to the town, a number of which we are already in discussions with to take space, and importantly it would provide a welcome boost to local employment in the area, with 200 jobs created.”

Mary Stewart, service manager for major business and customer service with Fife Council, said: “The recent application is an amended scheme for four units rather than the initial five. It proposes a reduction in the overall floorspace of the development and a more restrictive range of retail goods and shops when compared with the refused application which is currently the subject of an appeal to Scottish Ministers.”

The previous plans to demolish and divide up the former DIY store which closed its doors in August last year, were refused in June when councillors decided it would have a negative impact on the town centre.

The £10 million proposal would have provided a combined floor space of over 8000 square metres of retail space for bulk goods – selling household furnishings and electrical appliances.

However councillors on the Central Fife planning committee feared that the development put forward by Hammerson (Kirkcaldy) Ltd would take business away from the town’s ailing High Street which had just received the news that it was to lose the stalwart BHS store.

It was rejected by a vote of seven to five who were in favour of the plans.

At the time planning officials had recommended conditional approval of the application saying it was unlikely to have much impact on the viability of the town centre, but this was countered by La Salle, owners of the Mercat Shopping Centre.