Markinch ‘hub’ plan off rails

Markinch station
Markinch station

AN attempt to save the old station booking office in Markinch for the community may be set to fail after Network Rail said they want to put it up for sale.

A group called Campaign for Restoration of the Old Station Booking Office (CROSBO) have been working for 18 months to raise funds to restore the B-listed building and put it to use for the community.

But, having initially intimated that they were willing to rent the building to CROSBO, Network Rail are now seeking permission to sell it, leaving many in the community, including CROSBO chairman, Mike Deeprose, extremely disappointed.

He said: “We were given the impression that we would be able to rent the building from Network Rail, although it was a very difficult process.

“We only ever got a limited response and very little was in writing or by e-mail.

“But we had paid for an architect to draw up plans and we had stared the process of putting in an application.

“We had spent this money on the understanding that we were going to be given the building.

“There was a meeting held in October to discuss the rent, but then they came back in November saying that they had now applied for permission to sell it.”

The group had hoped to use the 165-year-old building, which has been closed since 2007, as a mix of community use and commercial space, bringing a range of social, environmental and economic benefits to Markinch and the local area, but now those plans could be dashed.

Mr Deeprose said: “We’ve spent a lot of time doing things like filling out applications.

“And to be honest I’m fed up ‘phoning and e-mailing two or three times a week.

“There’s a limit to how often you can hassle people.

“The building is in remarkably good condition.

“There’s a little damp but as far as I know there’s no permanent water damage, so it’s very disappointing.”

The building dates back to the dawn of the railways in Fife and was part of the original line between Forth and Tay.

Part of it is currently used as a private home.

Despite the Gazette’s attempts to contact them, Network Rail did not respond.