Objections to plans for historic town hall

Kinross Town Hall.
Kinross Town Hall.

A CONSERVATION watchdog has poured cold water on a developer’s plans for the historic town hall in Kinross.

Kinross-shire Civic Trust has told Perth and Kinross Council that it has ‘strong objections’ to the proposals, which it claims will do nothing to save the B-listed building from further deterioration.

Two planning applications have been lodged with the council by Dunfermline-based Town Hall Developments, whose sole director Simon Wilson put his former house-building company into voluntary liquidation in February last year.

Mr Wilson wants to demolish the former billiard hall behind the Carnegie Library, which forms part of the town hall complex, in order to build nine apartments and create parking facilities.

He’s also applied for ‘change of use’ of the town hall itself but as yet has no plans for internal alterations, and says that once planning permission is granted he will decide whether to use it for shops, offices or even a restaurant.

However, the Civic Trust says that while it has no objections to the proposal for the flats, the plans amount to nothing apart from the demolition of the billiard hall and an application for change of use.

A trust spokesman commented: “There needs to be a proper development/conservation plan for the hall, otherwise it is going to be left to continue to deteriorate.

“This plan must be contiguous with the construction of the flats.

“The town hall has been left too long to fall into disrepair, which is a tragedy, and the developer must be made to take over his responsibilities for this buildings.

“The hall is an important part of the history of Kinross and established in the conservation area.

“It must not be allowed to disintegrate further.”

The town hall buildings, which also comprise the former post office and a clock tower classed as a scheduled ancient monument, were at the centre of a legal wrangle some years ago when they were put up for sale by Perth and Kinross Council.

The council was taken to court over its right to sell and was eventually ordered to hand any profits from the sale to Kinross Common Good Fund.