£1.4m redevelopment plan for Kirkcaldy Esplanade submitted

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Progress is being  made on the redevelopment of Kirkcaldy’s Esplanade after a planning application was submitted to Fife Council.

The £1.4m project will see the town’s waterfront reduced to a single carriageway, parking spaces created on the west side against the existing shops and restaurants, and public area created to the front of the old YM which forms part of the proposed Kings Theatre project.

Three road crossing points will lead to viewing platforms over the sea.

In September 2018, Kirkcaldy area committee approved a request for £100,000 funding to go towards the regeneration of the area.

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The project is designed to connect Kirkcaldy’s waterfront with the town centre and filling the new public areas with new and existing businesses.

The council hopes that the work will begin in spring 2019, after the Links Market.

Councillor Neil Crooks, convener of Kirkcaldy area committee, was full of praise for the project.

He said: “This is a big ambition that is feasible and possible – and this is one unanimous step closer to achieving it.”

The project will include access to sea views for the disabled, and children.

But at the Fife budget meeting on Thursday, Kirkcaldy Conservative Councillor, Richard Watt, branded it a “bizarre vanity project”.

He said: “After six years of moaning and pushing, there’s an allocation of £200,000 to narrow some roads near my constituency.

“Every person I’ve spoken to is annoyed with this colossal waste of money.

“Things have moved on since this project was first proposed. The High Street has died, the waterfront remains unvisited, and the original plans for an entertainment arcade have been changed to relocate two bus shelters.”

His claims were refuted by Kirkcaldy Labour councillor, Alistair Cameron.

He said: “I am glad to see it coming through planning, delighted to see it coming forward. I see it as a positive move for reconnecting the High Street with the east end and the waterfront.

“The waterfront is already being hugely used by walkers at the weekend and the running club uses it pretty much four nights a week. I was confused to hear comments that the waterfront was hardly used – it was bizarre and tripe. Obviously that councillor needs to go down and see the huge use people are already making of the waterfront.

“It’s a bold and positive move, which is involving not just the council but other organisations as well.”

Public consultation on the project is open until March 14.