Call for public debate on Invertiel plans

Pic Michael Gillen 15/12/2008. FALKIRK. Morrisons Store. Eating Out.
Pic Michael Gillen 15/12/2008. FALKIRK. Morrisons Store. Eating Out.

A Kirkcaldy lawyer has challenged local councillors and campaingers for a supermarket development at Invertiel to a public debate.

Nigel Ford believes the recent decisions will affect the town centre for years to come - and should have a full airing.

Fife Council’s decision to approve Morrisons’ plans for a £25m store on the site of the old B & Q sparked an immediate reaction from the owners of the Mercat who said their own expansion plans would no longer include lesiure facilities.

And the debate over the Tolbooth Street location for the new swimming pool has sparked an on-going debate.

Mr Ford, of Fords Solicitors, believes it’s time the Council explained why the proposals are in the best interests of the town.

He argues that Morrisons should be in The expanded Mercat where it could form the supermarket anchor tenant needed to get the development off the ground.

And the pool should form the hub of new leisure facilities at Invertiel where there is room for expansion and decent transport links.

In a letter to the Fife Free Press, he said: “This is not just something which will affect the town centre for a few years. It is something which is going to affect the town for a generation.

‘‘I am sure the public would like this issue brought into the open where both sides can put forward their reasons and in particular, the Council can let us know exactly why Morrisons is best suited to Invertiel and why the pool is best suited in Tolbooth Street.

“These are matters and decisions which need a full public airing.”

Councillors said they were happy to have a debate - but stressed the decision making process was done.

Councillor George Kaye said: “After a long and arduous democratic process the leisure centre will start to be built in the next few months. The debate has been had and that is the conclusion.

“Morrisons will not move to the Mercat under any circumstances. That is their commercial decision. It is not a matter for debate. They have stated repeatedly if they cannot move to Invertiel then they won’t come to Kirkcaldy.

“The public are now saying get on with it and that is precisely what we are doing.”

Joe Noble, of MacDonald Estates - the company driving development at Invertiel - added: “Given the importance to the town of the Invertiel proposals we would be more than happy to speak to Mr Ford and to consider participating in the debate ”