No 'glass tower' at Station Hotel
PLANS to put up a controversial 'glass tower' development in the centre of a Kirkcaldy conservation area will be pulled following a meeting with council planning officials.
Robert Kilgour, chief executive of Dow Investments Ltd, who own the Station Hotel, had planned to turn it into a complex containing 80 flats in a 12 storey tower.
He will now withdraw the planning application and resubmit a revised plan in January.
The plans have attracted a great many complaints, including letters from the Adam Smith Theatre, which is next door to the proposed development, and from the Scottish Civic Trust, as well as a petition with over 200 names.
The tower is to be absent from the plans, and more access to parking will aim to reduce traffic going in and out of the development.
It is now thought the building will now be roughly the same height as the Adam Smith Theatre, and contain between 50 and 60 flats.
The dramatic turnaround came following a meeting between Mr Kilgour and Elspeth Cook, lead officer for development promotion and design, from Fife Council's development services.
Mr Kilgour said he had read every online objection and tried to take these into account.
He said: "It doesn't suit us to leave it sitting boarded up. It doesn't benefit anyone, but I have to say I was encouraged by the meeting.
"We will still get objections but hopefully this will get fewer. We are taking on board what the Scottish Civic Trust have said.
"It's a positive way forward as opposed to a negative way forward."
He added: "The new design will be less dense, with a lower height, and better parking. The lower height improves privacy and light for neighbours.
"We'll hopefully get a better response, but there will always be people who will object."
Mr Kilgour said the application will be withdrawn pending a revised application in the new year, and any development would be dependent on the economic situation.
Adam Smith Theatre manager Sheila Thompson said: "We're delighted that the tower is no longer going to be an option but we are very much reserving judgement until we see the new plans."
However, Ann Watters of Kirkcaldy Civic Society, who have applied for the building to become listed, was not convinced that the new plans would be acceptable.
She said: "To foist that on Kirkcaldy for the sake of money is not acceptable. We want to see the building refurbished full stop."
She added that the economic conditions might mean that the development will not go ahead.
She said: "At this time of the credit crunch I can't see there being enough mortgages to cover it."
After the planning application is resubmitted it will be available online for viewing.
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Weather for Kirkcaldy
Wednesday 19 June 2013
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