Charette work is unique opportunity for Kirkcaldy

The former Victoria Power station is one of the eyesores on the Charette site
The former Victoria Power station is one of the eyesores on the Charette site

Kirkcaldy’s charette plans to reclaim industrial wasteland along the railway line which could help to build a brand new community in the town.

With a unique opportunity to attract a new indoor sporting facility for the town, mixed housing, cycle paths and other recreation spaces, enthusiasm among local people is high.

It is almost like creating a new community over time on this large and significant site

Ian McRory, Fife Council

That was the message from Ian McRory, an economic regeneration manager with Fife Council, who, working alongside the Scottish Government and other council departments, is working to lay the foundations for redevelopment of the land from the corner of Dunnikier Road, along Victoria Road to the corner of Factory Road, formerly occupied by industrial factories including the old electrical power station and the Nairn’s linoleum works.

The Kirkcaldy Charette began with a launch event in December 2013. Events took place during February and March 2014 in Pathhead Halls, involving local schools led by a specialist design team.

Three reports on consultation and regeneration action were presented to the Council, and yesterday (Wednesday), Mr McCrory gave an update on what had been happening since.

A group involving officers from various council departments has been taking forward the proposals.

It has worked on identifying sites for a social housing development of 161 affordable homes by Robertson Homes, and identifying priority vacant and derelict sites for action, mapping out all the sites within the area which are on the Vacant and Derelict Land Register.

A land ownership map for the area will be created, with help from the Local Development Plan team and Registers of Scotland.

A potential site for an indoor sports facility has also been identified at Nairn Street and discussions are taking place to try to get funding from the government to develop the site.

“It is almost like creating a new community over time on this large and significant site,” said Mr McCrory.

Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman of the area committee, said: “If we can get this off the ground and get the whole site cleared then we could attract a developer to make the best use of it.”

Councillor Kay Carrington added: “It is great to see that things are still moving forward and that people are still talking about it. We are making good progress.”

Sounding a note of caution, Councillor David Ross said: “I welcome the progress made and the enthusiasm and commitment, but we have commitments in the town centre, neighbourhood development areas and in the Gallatown.

‘‘We need to be aware that we have limited resources and can’t spread ourselves too thinly.”

Councillor Crooks said he had visited a Charette in Largs which had attracted significant private funding.

“If we have that aspiration and are seen to be getting people to do business with us then maybe there’s someone who wants to invest and we will keep trying to find them.”