A historic Kirkcaldy building which was facing demolition has been given a stay of execution to allow further discussions about its future.
The intervention by Scottish Government ministers has prompted the developer to withdraw proposals to have the former Victoria Power Station razed.
We have had this eyesore on Victoria Road for too many yearsCllr Neil Crooks
The move by the agent acting on behalf of United Investments Co Ltd - which owns the site - is to allow further talks with Historic Scotland and Fife Council to see if there is a way for the frontage of the building, which was constructed in 1901, to be retained.
Councillors had previously given the go-ahead for the derelict building to be transformed into a nursing home.
It was hoped the redevelopment of the site would pave the way for the regeneration of the Victoria Road area.
But despite local members supporting the demolition plans, Scottish Government ministers want to make the final determination on the application.
Councillor Neil Crooks told The Press he hopes the talks will deliver a ‘positive’ outcome: “The fact that Scottish Ministers decided to have the application referred to them for determination rather than accept our local decision in respect of demolition is disappointing.
“We have had this eyesore on Victoria Road for too many years. The possibility of having the site developed and saving the facade would be the perfect outcome, but my understanding is this would make the development of the site financially impoverished.
“If the developer can achieve this outcome, it would be terrific to save this part of our local heritage and I look forward to the discussions being fruitful and positive.
“I only hope the delay to development is a short period because this site is an eyesore and has been for too many years.”
David Queripal, of Montgomery Forgan, the agent acting on behalf of the developer, said: “Historic Scotland wants to have further discussions about the possibility of retaining the building’s frontage.
“I spoke to my client and they have decided to enter into dialogue with Historic Scotland and Fife Council about this, so it was decided to withdraw the application for listed building consent. This dialogue will take place over the next few weeks.”
Cllr George Kay said: “I really wish to see this development going ahead. I welcome the stance being adopted by the agent as being the most practicable in bringing it to life.”
He added: “I understand this will add two or three months to the timetable, but if it means the project goes ahead, I think it will be worth waiting for.”
Victoria Power Station history
The B-listed building was designed for Kirkcaldy Corporation Tramways by architect William Williamson.
The facade on to Victoria Road, opened in 1903, was detailed in an Edwardian baroque-style and this was common on high-profile industrial buildings at that time. Such examples are now rare in Kirkcaldy and its preservation had initially been deemed to be of paramount importance.