PLANS for a retirement flats complex on the site of the former Station Hotel in Kirkcaldy are being withdrawn – and replaced with a scaled-down version.
Property tycoon Robert Kilgour had sought permission for 40 retirement flats, but he’s been waiting a year for Fife Council to make a decision on his application and says it has taken so long the plans are now “redundant”.
He intends submitting a revised application for a development which he believes has greater potential to go ahead.
Mr Kilgour said: “My intention is to withdraw the current application and submit, within the next few weeks, an alternative proposal which will be in the same vein but on a slightly smaller scale.
“There is no interest in the current proposal, the banks are not interested in anything like this. It’s difficult to get anything to happen these days. Funding is very difficult, but I do have someone who has expressed a potential interest in doing the smaller scheme as a joint venture.”
Mr Kilgour’s application for 40 retirement flats – the latest in a series of proposals to transform the boarded-up building in a prime location near the town’s railway station and the Adam Smith Theatre – was submitted to the Council in November last year.
Initially, a decision was expected early this year, but the process dragged on and it wasn’t considered by the Kirkcaldy area committee until last week.
However, councillors failed to reach a decision, opting for a site visit instead, and Mr Kilgour has now been told it could be January next year before they make up their minds.
But he will take the decision out of their hands by pulling the plug on that application, and hopes when he does submit his alternative proposals they don’t take as long to go through the planning process.
Like the initial plans, Mr Kilgour’s alternative proposals for retirement flats will be restricted to people aged over 55 who are retired and have no ‘live-in’ dependents.
The plans will still involve the demolition of the rear extension but more of the original building will be retained.
The smaller development is more likely to find favour with Kirkcaldy area committee, as the large scale of the initial project was one of the concerns expressed by councillors.
Speaking at last week’s meeting, Councillor Susan Leslie expressed some reservations about the plans and agreed with the decision to arrange a site visit, but added: “There have been many different proposals for this site, but this is the best so far and I would like see it go ahead.”