D-day for £6.5m Glenrothes town centre plan

M&S is looking to set up shop on the CISWO Site in Glenrothes if planning can get passed through
M&S is looking to set up shop on the CISWO Site in Glenrothes if planning can get passed through

The end to a decade of stalemate regarding the redevelopment of Glenrothes town centre hinges on a crucial decision about to be taken tomorrow (Wednesday).

An ambitious £6.5 million plan to redevelop the North Street site currently occupied by the CISWO Club and turn the land into a retail complex, expected to include a Marks and Spencer food outlet, a pub restaurant and a number of other high profile retailers, is to be considered by Fife Council’s planning committee.

In a detailed report councillors have been advised to conditionally approve both the creation of a new CISWO club in the former council social work offices in South Street, as well as give the green light to development plans that could help revitalise the town centre.

Keith Davidson, CEO of Easy Living Developments, the company behind the project, has described the plans as a “unique and once in a lifetime opportunity for the club and the town” and one that would “unlock” years of stalemate regards the town centre.

If approved, work on extending the former Fife Council offices to create a 550+ capacity main arena is expected to start immediately and once complete would allow the club to host a range of events including the lucrative BDO darts internationals.

“This town has had to face years of broken promises and false dawns, scotched supermarket proposals and successive political administrations failing to deliver on plans to breath new life into the town centre,” said David Nelson, CISWO club secretary.

“We should be welcoming this development with open arms, it has huge potential to have a knock on effect of attracting more big High Street names to the town.”

However, Kingdom Centre owners LaSalle have voiced their opposition to a bid to protect their own economic interests within the town.

With six Glenrothes councillors - Bill Brown, Kay Morrison, Altany Craik, Ross Vettraino, John Wincott and John Beare - among the 15 that make up the central area planning committee , the body that will be making the decision on whether to approve the application, they will know only too well the numerous plans and proposals regarding Glenrothes town centre that have fallen by the wayside in the past.

After years of expectation an application was submitted in 2011 for a Tesco supermarket development within the centre.

But the town, as well as its politicians, were left shell shocked after Tesco in December 2014 withdrew its application and shelved plans to take up a presence within Glenrothes.