Pub blow will not halt Fife town’s regeneration plans

Pub chain Marston's have pulled out of town centre redevelopment plans bcause of a dispute over parking spaces.
Pub chain Marston's have pulled out of town centre redevelopment plans bcause of a dispute over parking spaces.

The redevelopment of Glenrothes has been dealt a blow after a major pub chain planning to set up in the town centre has announced it’s no longer interested.

Marston’s PLC, will no longer take control of the pub development which is included in extensive regeneration plans for the North Street end of the town centre, because of a disagreement over available parking spaces.

It’s understood despite extensive negotiations between Marston’s and Easy Living Developments, the company behind the North Street plans, and other planned retailers, an agreement could not be reached.

“Parking may seem a small aspect, but it is an important part of the overall experience for our customers,” said a spokesman for Marston’s.

“Therefore we made the decision not to take up the Glenrothes option and instead concentrate on our other developments in Fife.”

The decision comes as work finally begins next week on the refurbishment of Fife Council’s former social care office in South Street, which will be transformed into a new home for the CISWO Club.

The work is expected to be completed by August with the CISWO likely to make the move to their new premises by October.

That will then allow for the demolition of the North Street site and work to start on the new retail park soon after.

Keith Davidson, Easy Living Developments CEO, told the Gazette they will now make a fresh planning application for the pub building to be replaced by retail units.

“We have had conversations with other pub chains and we will continue to do so,” Mr Davidson explained.

“However the new planning application, if accepted, will allow us to have a second option of further retail units for the site once we start the development proper.”

“All other aspects of the development are going ahead as planned and once we complete work in South Street and the CISWO moves into its new facilities, we will start immediately with the North Street proposal.”

Question marks over whether the pub facility will now materialise will no doubt deal a blow to the desire for a night time and early evening economy in Glenrothes.

“The original plan for a pub and restaurant are what we would prefer as they would act as a means of kick starting a night time economy in Glenrothes that we have worked for for so long, “ said Ron Page, from Glenrothes Futures Group.