The planning saga surrounding the building of a Morrisons supermarket in Kirkcaldy was brought to an end last Thursday when the development was finally given the go-ahead.
Members of Fife Council’s planning committee followed Kirkcaldy area committee’s view and approved the plans despite officers recommending refusal - it went through on an 8-3 vote.
The development was strongly supported by local councillor George Kay, who described the time it had taken to reach this stage as ‘‘excrutiating.’’
He said: “This is something that Kirkcaldy area wants to go ahead and wants to go ahead as soon as possible.
“It’s something the people of Seafield, Kinghorn, Burntisland and the people of Auchtertool want to go ahead as soon as possible.
“It’s about £25million of investment, 330 jobs, and regeneration of a completely desolate site.’’
Cllr Kay said there was no ‘Plan B’ for the site and and added: “We need to get it done and this site up as soon as possible. It’s been absolutely excrutiating the amount of time it has taken to get to this stage.
“It is unanimously what people of ward 10 and neighbouring wards want.’’
Cllr Kay saw Morrisons as the catalyst to regenerate Invertiel, but his view was not shared by all councillors.
Cllr Alice McGarry said she was “extremely disappointed” by the proposal - ‘’a big, standard development in what is an outstanding area’’ - and said Kirkclady had ‘‘been let down’’ by the developer.
SNP councillor John Beare said planning approval came with heavy conditions, and added: “Plan B is quite simple - it is for the applicant to agree with the conditions of full Council.
“There were detailed conditions to try to improve the street frontage and the whole urban design and fabric in the area. I feel we’ve been let down by the applicant.”
MORRIsONS will create 330 badly needed jobs in Kirkcaldy now the store has got the green light.
Joe Noble, director of strategic development for Macdonald Estates, the company behind the Invertiel development, said: “We’re obviously very pleased with the committee decision but perhaps the most important thing is the impact the project will have on Kirkcaldy.
‘‘We’re committed to securing a development the town can be proud of. We’ve spent a lot of time with officers going through designs and plans - this is a good example of democracy in action.
“With the virtually unanimous public support we’ve had, it’s very reasonable that the planning committee has recognised the huge ground swell of support for the project with the decision.”
Supporters of the planning application, Ruth Moore and Elsie Tribe attended Thursday’s meeting were also delighted.
Ruth Moore, who lives opposite the development site, said: “There will be absolute elation. It’s going to bring jobs, clean up a derelict site, and tidy up a beautiful picnic area.
“It will sort out the crossings on the roads which are no good for pupils going from Seafield estate to Balwearie.
“It’s been a long time coming.”
Elsie Tribe, who lives in Kinghorn, added: “It’s like winning the lottery. It will just make everything so much easier.
“People from that end of Kirkcaldy, Kinghorn and Burntisland won’t have to go to the top of the town for shopping and petrol.
“This store is going to help Kinghorn and Burntisland so much because we’ve got nothing.”