Kirkcaldy skate park is ‘great idea, wrong place’

Plans to build an indoor skate park in Kirkcaldy’s Hayfield Industrial Estate have been thrown out by councillors.

‘Great idea, wrong place’ was the message given by councillors on the Central Fife planning committee yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon.

The proposal had been to create an indoor skate facility in a vacant mid-terraced industrial unit in the town’s Frederick Wilson Park, in Hayfield Industrial Estate.

The applicant was seeking permission to change the use of the unit to create the leisure facility.

In a supporting statement, the councillors heard the proposed skate park would operate from late morning until late evening, with the busiest periods expected between 5.00 p.m. and 10.00 p.m. Monday to Friday, and all day at the weekends.

Council planning officers recommended to members of the committee that the planning application be refused.

Among the reasons given in the report was “the principle of leisure developments in Hayfield Industrial Estate is not acceptable on the basis that the proposal would introduce gradual and piecemeal proposals of this type of use that would have a detrimental impact on the long term employment viability of the established employment area”.

Other reasons were concerned with road safety for pedestrians.

Councillors heard that 16 letters of support for the application and a petition with 153 signatures in favour of the development had been received by the planning department.

They were in favour of the development as there are no indoor skate parks in the area, or in Fife; it would allow children somewhere to go and keep them out of trouble; the site is on a bus route; people from all over the country would visit the facility and it would allow individuals to participate in their chosen sport all year around.

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor Peter Grant said there was an additional petition in support of the plans online.

He said: “It suggests there is a significant demand for this kind of facility in Kirkcaldy.

“It’s a great application, but it’s in the wrong place.

“I hope behind the scenes someone can go back to the applicant and say it’s not one we want to refuse and try to help find a more suitable site.”

The application went to a vote with nine to four in favour of refusing the application.