Store delay is costing town money

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THE DEVELOPERS behind a scheme to bring a new supermarket and other improvements to the dilapidated west end of Kirkcaldy are urging Fife Council to make a decision on their application.

Invertiel Developments Ltd submitted a planning application in November 2009 for a supermarket which would be the first phase in a new development on the former B&Q and surrounding derelict land at Invertiel.

And in July 2010, grocery giant Morrisons announced it would invest over £25m in a new store that would create over 350 new jobs in the area.

However, the developers say they are still no closer to learning when Fife Council officials plan to put the proposals to committee.

Surprising

Joe Noble of Invertiel Developments Limited said: “We find it surprising that such a large investment has been with the Council for 15 months and yet we find ourselves in the position where we have no firm date when the Council officials will put our application to committee for determination.

“We would hope that the Council will deal with it in February or March.”

Mr Noble added that the Morrisons store would generate in excess of £4m per year in direct wages to the local economy, which would bring significant economic benefits to the town.

Invertiel and nearby Linktown have been identified in the Council’s local plan as a regeneration priority.

The area is in the worst 15 per cent of areas for income and employment in the whole of Scotland.

Economy

Mr Noble added: “Every week that passes without a decision means that over £80,000 in direct wages is lost to the area and this is money that would make its way back into the local economy and would be spent in other shops and in the High Street, the Mercat and local pubs and restaurants.

“Given the major economic impact I would have thought that a higher degree of priority would have been placed on determining the application and we would hope that the council will deal with this matter and secure the Morrison’s Investment at the earliest possible date.”

Jim Birrell, development manager for Fife Council said the applications were still being progressed by officers.

He added: “Once all necessary assessments are completed and consultation responses finalised, they will be reported to the appropriate committees.”