Historic inn branded ‘dilapidated eyesore’

PICKLETILLUM INN. A914, near St Michaels'photo; WALTER NEILSON
PICKLETILLUM INN. A914, near St Michaels'photo; WALTER NEILSON

AN historic north east Fife coaching inn could be razed to the ground to make way for flats after a Scottish Government official described it as ‘a dilapidated eyesore.’

The Pickletillum Inn near Drumoig, which is thought to date back to the early 1700s, narrowly escaped the bulldozers when Fife councillors rejected a planning application for five homes on the site by just one vote.

But an appeal by developer Dr Raj Kumar against their decision has been upheld by a Scottish Government reporter.

In his findings, Richard Hickman said that he had sympathy for those who wanted to see the inn restored and maintained, as the routeways of the drovers were part of Scotland’s heritage.

However, he said that retaining the building would have ‘very little to offer’ as a reminder of the activities of the drovers.

Mr Hickman commented: “The building is of negligible architectural interest, comprising a mish-mash of alterations and extensions and having a generally 1960s external appearance.”

Concluding that Dr Kumar should be granted planning permission in principle with a number of conditions, Mr Hickman commented that the building has ‘passed the point of no return’ and was now ruinous, with demolition the only viable option.

He said that suitable redevelopment would have an ‘over-riding benefit’ in terms of improving the local environment and considered this would compensate for the absence of a contribution to affordable housing.

The inn - which is not listed - has lain in a state of disrepair for some years after failing as a commercial venture in the hands of a succession of owners.