Design fault threatens closure of new £750k Fife sports facility

A threat of closure hangs over a major new Fife sporting facility, opened just months ago, because of a design error, it has been revealed.

The new Glenrothes Strollers pavilion, built at a cost of £733,000, has been operating under a temporary occupancy licence since it opened in March and has already received two extensions.

But the club is unlikely to be granted a further extension by building warrants inspectors when the current temporary agreement runs out on October 31.

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The popular football club could now be forced to close its doors to the public, if £27,000 cant be found to install a fire hydrant at the facility before the October deadline.

The hydrant is vital if the club is to be granted a permanent operating licence.

Original project plans assumed a sharing of a hydrant with the nearby Michel Wood Sports Centre, but when that proved logistically impossible, an alternative provision was never added to the sports pavillion construction.

Glenrothes councillors were informed of the embarrassing oversight at yesterday’s Area Committee as they rejected an application from the football club for £18,000 towards the cost of installing the essential piece of equipment.

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Councillor Ross Vettraino called the oversight a “major mistake” which had created an “unbelievable dilemma” for the Council.

“This is a fantastic facility catering for over 20 teams and it’s exactly the sort of facility this world needs,” he added.

“And the thought of this facility having to close is unthinkable.

““But we can’t have private agencies falling short and then coming along and asking for money.

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“It’s public money we are talking about here and we are obliged to look after it as best we can.

“I’m not confident at this stage that every step has been taken to get the contractor or design team to honour their liability.”

Cllr Fiona Grant, chairman of Glenrothes Area Committee echoed her colleague’s concerns, adding: “Fife Council gave this project £350,000. I am hesitant to give in to what is beginning to feel like blackmail.

“The bottom line is we want to see the facility continue be we want to be totally clear that there is no other way of getting the club connected to a fire hydrant.”

The committee has called on the club to explore all avenues of funding between now and the next scheduled Area Committee meeting on October 4, where the issue will be further discussed.