Eyesore has to be removed

Deepa Singh outside his restaurant Namaste Gurkha
Deepa Singh outside his restaurant Namaste Gurkha

BUSINESSES in the east end have backed residents calling for action to be taken over a building left wrapped in unsightly scaffolding for months.

The former Mountainline premises - a long-standing eyesore in the town centre - is at the centre of the row.

In October Fife Council ordered the building’s owner to fix a dangerous part of the structure - but it has no knowledge of any application for permission to put the scaffolding up.

Now, the owner of an Indian and Nepalese restaurant in Kirkcaldy’s east end claims he could be forced to shut due to the “eyesore” opposite his premises.

Deepa Singh, who runs Namaste Gurkha, told The Press he may be forced to close if action isn’t taken to remove the abandoned scaffolding.

Mr Singh said: “It has been there for five months and no-one has been seen doing any work on it.

‘‘I am trying very hard to make a business, but how can I pay the bills when customers aren’t coming in? That scaffolding puts people off. They want to come in, sit at a table and have a nice view - they don’t want to look at that.

Complaints

‘‘I have been complaining to councillors and the Council for months, but still nothing has been done.”

His businesss isn’t the only one to be severely affectede.

The owner of Italian restaurant, Made in Naples, said he has seen a significant fall in trade since it went up.

Raffaele Cipolletta, owner of Made in Naples, said: “We weren’t given any notice about the scaffolding going up in the first place.

‘‘We have definitely been quieter since it appeared - people can’t see our sign because of it, so they don’t know we are here.”

Baljit Singh, manager of Indian restaurant Amritsar - which is next to Namaste Gurkha - said: “I saw a woman walking past the scaffolding one day and something fell off the building and just missed her.

‘‘It’s not safe and it’s unsightly to look at.”

Labour councillor Kenny Selbie, who represents Kirkcaldy central, said: “It is crucial that Council officials take whatever action is available to ensure the enforcement notice is taken seriously.

‘‘The immediate issue is to make certain the structure is safe and I understand officers are working on this at present.”

Judy Hamilton, fellow Labour councillor for the ward, said: “It is disappointing to see an owner who does not, in this case, appear to be a ‘good neighbour.’