New era for Glenrothes art club ... but not all are happy

Art club president Lilian Sloan and her husband Cllr Ian Sloan outside the club's Cottar House studio. Pic: George McLuskie
Art club president Lilian Sloan and her husband Cllr Ian Sloan outside the club's Cottar House studio. Pic: George McLuskie

A new home could soon be beckoning for one of the town’s oldest clubs following a planning application to develop the premises it has occupied for nearly 60 years.

Glenrothes Art Club, has submitted an application ‘in principle’ for permission to develop on the site of the club’s Cottar House Studios, its home since 1956.

Should it be granted, approval would greatly enhance the club’s chances of selling the studiow which would effectively clear the way for a future owner to either renovate Cottar House into a private house or demolish the building and build and redevelop the land.

However, the news of the possible planning permission and sale has raised concerns among residents living in neighbouring Alburne Crescent who fear it could result in the demolition of the 19th century building and trigger a large scale redevelopment of the site that overlooks to their homes.

“It is a worry to residents locally because it’s more than likely to pave the way for any number of housing options, or large storey building proposals,” said one Alburne Crescent resident, who asked not to be named.

“We will be monitoring this and any future planning proposals very closely.”

Club members unanimously agreed several years ago to relocate but their bid for the Weyside Hall at the time proved unsuccessful and the move was shelved.

The club, which was formed in 1955 originally met in Carelton Primary School but with the help of founding member John Coghill,c hief architect for Glenrothes Development Corporation, he alerted them to the Corporation’s desire to find an organisation to take on the ownership of Cottar House.

Now with extensive renovation and modernisation worked needed, the club has taken the step to bolster its chances of finding a buyer for the property.

“Having taken professional advice, the best way to maximise the asset of the building and the car parking would be to apply for planning in principle,” explained Councillor Ian Sloan, whose wife Lillian is club president.

“Anyone wanting to redevelop the site would still have to submit plans for approval as normal, so nothing has been decided as regards the future of Cottar House.

“However if it is granted it will be of huge benefit for the club and their attempt to move on.

“It could soon be a very exciting time for the club.”