End may be in sight for 80-year Kirkcaldy eyesore

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An application to demolish one of Kirkcaldy’s “eyesores” has been submitted to Fife Council after it failed to attract a buyer.

The former Victoria Power Station on Victoria Road was put up for sale in July of last year for just £1 after a plan to turn it into a nursing home fell through.

A condition of the six-month period of sale – imposed by Historic Scotland – was that the buyer should keep the facade of the B-listed building which has been closed for over 80 years.

But the building failed to sell and now the owners of the site, United Investments Ltd., have submitted a ‘Listed Building Consent Application’ to Fife Council, seeking permission to finally demolish the building.

David Quiripel of Montgomery Forgan, the agents acting on behalf of United Investments, said the application would now be considered by Fife Council, adding that “no serious interest had been expressed” in the six months that the building was on the market.

The developers claim that the cost of repairing the facade, which has been left unattended since it closed in 1931, means that it is not economically viable.

Neil Crooks, chair of Kirkcaldy Area Committee said there has been listed building consent for the demolition of the power station for about five years.

“Historic Scotland wanted the frontage of the building incorporated into any new building,” he said.

“Behind the building there are masses of steel and iron works relating to the old tram batteries and it would cost a lot of money to clear the site of all of this.

“I have said from the beginning that, for the whole of my lifetime, that section of Victoria Road from the traffic lights, which is a main thoroughfare through the town, is a facade of dereliction which brings a whole feeling of pessimism to the area.”

Cllr Crooks said his wish to see the area cleared has the backing of the local community.

“When I became the area committee chairman I wanted to inject a bit of positivity into it and we held the charette which sought the views of local residents.

“The old Nairn’s site has been cleared and grassed over and it looks much better than it did before.

“Every developer who has looked at the power station site has said it would cost a fortune to clear the site.

“I would like to see to see it cleared once and for all because the dereliction there depresses people and has done for around 80 years since the power station closed.”

In the future Cllr Crooks said he hoped to see the area put to good use.

“The adjacent site of the former SMT garage has been cleared for housing and hopefully we can get some more council housing on part of the old Nairn’s site in the future.

“I would also like to see some sort of indoor sporting facility in the area which is what the young people who took part in the charette wanted to see.”