Let’s look and then decide ...

0111035 SSFF stock station hotel 'stock photo Kirkcaldy - old station hotel, kirkcaldy
0111035 SSFF stock station hotel 'stock photo Kirkcaldy - old station hotel, kirkcaldy

COUNCILLORS will carry out a site visit before making a decision on plans to transform the former Station Hotel in Kirkcaldy’s Bennochy Road into a retirement flats complex.

But they could be wasting their time as the man behind the plans has revealed to the Press that they’ve little chance of coming to fruition anyway.

Property tycoon Robert Kilgour submitted plans in November last year for 40 retirement flats, the latest of several proposals to transform the boarded-up building situated in a prime location near the town’s railway station and next to the Adam Smith Theatre.

At Fife Council’s Kirkcaldy area committee meeting yesterday (Wednesday), councillors raised issues over the scale of the development, car parking and access to the site.

And there were concerns over potential visual intrusion into neighbouring gardens, particularly from a terrace at first floor level.

They decided to go and look for themselves before making their minds up, but Mr Kilgour said: “The chances of it going ahead are virtually nil for a variety of reasons. I’ve got architects working on other plans and I will look at submitting a couple of alternative proposals, maybe by the end of this month.”

Mr Kilgour criticised the planning department for the length of time it had taken to deal with his application and described officials as “unhelpful”.

And he slammed the Council for seeking a £36,000 contribution for the provision of social housing, saying such a charge was ridiculous.

Mr Kilgour added: “This project has taken so long it has died a death. It doesn’t stack up any more as the funding is now not available.”

Mr Kilgour originally converted the former hotel into one of a chain of nursing homes under the Four Seasons brand, which he sold in 1999.

The nursing home was closed at the end of 2006 and Mr Kilgour bought back the building the following year.

He has since considered various options for the building, including a care home, flats and student accommodation. There were also plans for a five-screen cinema, but this idea was scrapped in June last year, with Mr Kilgour saying it had been “strangled at birth” by the planners.