Nursery sale - why the 18 month delay?

Leslie Nursery
Leslie Nursery

A Glenrothes councillor has criticised the local authority for undue delays in putting a former Leslie school building up for sale.

Fife Council put the former Leslie nursery building on the market in January at a cost of £150,000 for the building and £50,000 for the adjoining land.

But Glenrothes North, Leslie and Markinch councillor Fiona Grant has questioned why it has taken so long.

Leslie Nursery closed back in June 2013 following a consultation with parents and a new nursery facility, which is encorporated within the Leslie Primary School building, opened two months later.

Cllr Grant has now asked the Council’s chief executive Steve Grimmond to investigate the delay.

“It’s difficult not to contrast the speed of the consultation, only 12 weeks to close a building used for over 50 years, with the length of time to market it,” said Cllr Grant.

She added: “I understand that there is an internal council process to go through before any property can be sold but surely that must not be allowed to take 18 months?

“It benefits neither Fife Council nor the local community to have a building lying empty and I hope that the chief executive’s findings will be used to speed up the process significantly.”

Responding to the councillor’s delay claims Michael O’Gorman, Fife Council estates service manager, explained this week: “The delay was caused by a number of different issues.

“After the property was vacated, it had to be emptied then we looked into the option of another Council service occupying it instead of putting it on the market, which took time.

“We’ve had a look into improving our processes to avoid a delay like this in the future.

“The property is now being marketed through the Council’s agent DM Hall.”

From supporting the mill mums to a multi-potential opportunity

A spokesman for DM Hall, acting on behalf of Fife Council, said that the building and 0.298 hectares of land could be sold as one, or that splitting them into two lots would also be considered.

The site has been described as having multi-potential.

Leslie Nursery was built in 1962 originally catering as a day nursery to support the mothers who worked in the local paper mills. Most of the children then had full time places.

With Fife Council striving to make savings it was decided to integrate the nursery within the local primary school at the same time as the local authority carried out a review into the school estate across Fife.

The major outcome for Glenrothes being the decision to close Tanshall Primary School which is to close in August 2015.