Demolition work is due to start on the site of Forth Park Hospital in Kirkcaldy next week - to make way for the eventual construction of a large housing development.
On Monday the specialist demolition and asbestos removal company, Central Demolition, will start demolishing some of the smaller buildings in the grounds and they will also begin the safety set up process prior to removing the asbestos from the main hospital building, which could take up to four months to complete before its finally demolished.
The company which has taken over the site is called AELD Limited, a joint venture between Easy Living Developments Limited and Atmore Properties Limited, a Liverpool-based national property company.
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The move comes after plans for the housing development were approved by councillors on Fife Council’s central planning committee at the end of April.
The proposals include 41 new build homes and the conversion of existing buildings into 14 flats.
Easy Living is a Glenrothes based development company which recently completed the Henge Retail Development in Glenrothes Town Centre, including M&S and Iceland Food Warehouse stores. AELD are also active elsewhere in Fife at Lochgelly where Easy Living Developments are constructing over 100 new homes.
Keith Davidson, director of both AELD and Easy Living. said the main hospital building is not likely to be torn down until the end of this year.
He said: “While the little buildings will be moved much earlier, the actual main building probably won’t come down until Christmas or even January because the removal of the dangerous asbestos inside will take time.
“The removal of the asbestos is the most important thing to make sure everything is safe.
“It is only in the main building where the asbestos is contained, the other buildings are clean and will come down relatively quickly.”
He continued: “The dangerous asbestos is mainly a coating around the frame of the building which was put there incase there was a significant fire in the building so the steel frames wouldn’t melt and buckle and collapse the building.”
Keith said in the meantime, while the demolition work is going on, workers will be carrying out the refurbishment of the old Mansion House, which dates back to the 1860s and the Stables Block on the site.
Work will also be carried out to make the Mansion House safe as it is understood to not be wind and watertight, which is adversely impacting internal ceilings, floors and joists.
He explained that these are category B-listed buildings and have to be retained. Although listed building consent was granted earlier this year by councillors for alterations to be carried out on them.
Keith continued: “We will start the groundwork during part of that time as well and by groundwork I mean the drains and mains going in,” he said, “with the construction of the new build properties starting in the new year. The first entry dates of those is probably expected in the late spring, early summer next year.”