RESIDENTS have said a plan to flatten a local landmark, the Lundin Links Hotel, and build housing and retail space in its place must not be allowed to go ahead.
An application submitted to Fife Council for planning permission in principle, to demolish the hotel and build up to 36 apartments, four terraced houses and 400 square metres of retail space on the site, has stunned the community.
A report, submitted by Rick Finc Associates on behalf of the hotel proprietor, Martin White, reveals the hotel has been struggling to maintain 70 per cent occupancy for the last three years and says, in the current market, it has no prospect of trading profitably into 2013-14.
While converting the building has been considered, the report warns this option is uneconomic and could lead to the landmark lying vacant and derelict, and instead favours demolishing it completely.
Readers responded with shock on the East Fife Mail’s Facebook page to the news that the site, which has been home to an inn or hotel since the early 17th century, could be flattened.
Jane Heggie, who said her family built the hotel, warned: “This must not be allowed to happen! It was one of the pinnacles of the Scottish Riviera.”
Sooz Wilkinson said: “It’s another public space lost to the community. I’m sure it is expensive to keep up but it is a landmark and it would be a travesty to lose it. If this is allowed to happen, Lundin Links will slowly turn into a dormitory for Edinburgh.”
The news prompted Joe Hill to submit an application to Historic Scotland to have the Lundin Links Hotel made a listed building, and he appealed to others to do the same.
Although Mr White was unable to comment at this time, the Lundin Links Hotel responded to concerns voiced online by posting its own comment.
It read: “The application was designed by our owner as a back-up plan if the current economic climate continues. We are very confident that visitors through the door and more bookings will stop this application progressing.
“The hotel is trading better in the last 18 months, however, with more demands for lower prices and suppliers increasing their prices any profit margin is being taken. Please come and use the hotel; you’re all very welcome.”
Largo Area Community Council has sent an objection to the proposal in its current form, based on concerns around parking, the implications for existing shops and businesses in the village, inappropriate ‘urban design’ and the loss of a local landmark.
A neighbour consultation period will run until March 8 and a decision on the application is expected to be made by early April. The application can be viewed on Fife Direct.