THE NEW Morrisons supermarket in Kirkcaldy is set to open this autumn - a year later than originally planned.
The date was finally confirmed after the final stage of the planning process was completed by Fife Council. The move had been on hold as Invertiel Developments, which is behind the development of the site, had been busy gathering all the consents and permissions needed before building at the former B&Q premises, which has lain empty since 2009.
The supermarket chain now has full planning permission to build a new foodstore, 415-space car park and petrol-filling station.
Work on the development - which will create 330 new local jobs - is set to begin in the Spring.
But local councillor George Kay, who is also chairman of the Invertiel Forum, said the store was meant to open last year.
He said: “In an ideal world the Morrisons store would have opened in autumn 2012.
‘‘This didn’t happen because of the insistence of development services to concentrate their efforts on developing the Mercat at the expense of everything else.
‘‘This has been shown to be flawed and regrettably only served to hold back the development of Morrisons and Invertiel by at least a year.
‘‘The year-long delay has meant that 330 people are unemployed who could have been employed at the store.”
Susan Leslie, who is also a ward councillor, claims it was Morrisons that held up the plans.
“Due process was followed and planning permission was granted,’’ she said.
‘‘Morrisons chose to walk away from the first permission granted by Fife Council and submit a new application. That was the cause of the delay.”
But despite the setback, Councillor Kay was delighted to see work going ahead.
“It has been a long protracted saga but the developer has worked with local members, community organisations and the people of Invertiel and Seafield to bring this huge step forward in the regeneration of the area.”
Richard Bakes, Morrisons development executive, added: “We look forward to delivering a new Morrisons foodstore by autumn 2013.”