Flats planned to breathe new life into Fife town centre offices

Plans to turn an office block into flats have taken a step forward.

By Allan Crow
Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:00 pm

The long-established development in the heart of Glenrothes town centre is the subject of a new planning application to Fife Council.

Developers want approval to change more of the units at Hanover Court into two and three bedroom flats.

It was where Henry McLeish had his parliamentary office after becoming the town’s MP in 1987.

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Hanover Court, Glenrothes

After becoming First Minister of Scotland, it was revealed he had sublet the first floor, but not declared the income - a position he famously described as “a muddle, not a fiddle" but one, which under increasing pressure, led to his resignation.

Twenty years on, and the familiar buildings in Hanover Court, could now be set for a new lease of life.

Owners, Fife Property Investments Limited, have applied to Fife Council to turn three of the units into homes for the rental market.

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The site became mixed use on the back of previous applications, with just one unit retained for commercial operations.

In a statement submitted with its planning application, agents for the owners said: “The use classification has seen a continued downturn in occupancy levels over the past few years - despite efforts to seek new tenants that has been unsuccessful.

“The offices which form the basis of the current planning application for conversion to residences are vacant units and have been for a considerable period of time.

“The conversion of vacant units is necessary to address the decline our clients are experiencing within the development. This scenario requires the conversion of units which have come to the end of their lease agreements and leases are not being renewed.”

Construction work was subsequently approved. and work is ongoing at present creating 14 residential units.

There is no private parking available for the development but the report notes that the public parking facility “has been used regularly without concern over the life of the development.”

The planning application said the owners had considered alternative uses such as a bar-restaurant, and there is a potential conversion of one unit to a gym should it become available.

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