Royal Hotel: Fife community’s call to owners of C-listed building to clear up site after fire

A community has called on the owners of a fire-hit former hotel to clean up the site.

Tuesday, 1st March 2022, 2:49 pm

Concerns are growing over the state of the historic Royal Hotel in Dysart after a recent fire.

Residents have highlighted mounds of debris in the car park behind the building which has smashed windows and plaster peeling from it.

The 19th century C-listed building - once a hugely popular venue with locals a well as being a venue for busy functions - has been closed for several years, and its deterioration has concerned residents and local community leaders.

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The crumbling, boarded-up exterior of the Royal Hotel, Dysart (Pic: Fife Free Press)

The building was bought by Huddersfield based Havit Properties, a company created in 2020 with one director, Mrs Wadja Kanwal.

She is also its company secretary and no staff are listed on Companies House website.

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Havit buys and sells real estate, and documents with the Land Register of Scotland show it bought the Royal Hotel in May 2021 - two years after it closed.

The neglect on the front of the former hotel (Pic: Fife Free Press)

The previous owners went into administration, prompting an overnight closure which left many people with bookings for functions out in the cold.

The previous owners said the closure also left them homeless and jobless.

In recent months, the hotel has been the centre of a police raid and a fire.

In October 2021, police uncovered a cannabis cultivation estimated at £450,000.

Security grills cover grounds floor windows, while upstairs have been smashed

Officers staged a raid as part of Operation Pinnacle, and two men were arrested.

They described the haul as “significant.”

In February, emergency services were called to the hotel after a fire broke out.

No-one was injured in the blaze, but the building sustained some damage.

It is understood items from inside the hotel have now been dumped in two large piles in the car park which has been secured with a gate across its entrance.

Some windows have been boarded up, and others are smashed, while the paintwork on the front of the building - which sits on a busy road - is starting to crumble.

Local residents spoke of their concerns of vandalism after reports children were seen playing on the site, and expressed fears of vermin being attracted by the rubbish.

Council officers, including the safer communities team, are understood to have visited the site along with police.

Local councillor, Ian Cameron, shares the concerns of the community and called on the owners to clean up the mess and install CCTV to improve security.

“The longer this goes on, the more of a concern it becomes,” he said.

“There are health and safety concerns as children hang around the building.”

Cllr Cameron said the state of the former hotel underlined the need to ensure businesses buying buildings had a clear commitment to safeguarding and developing them.

Highlighting the issues caused by absentee owners, he added: That has to be enshrined in legislation.”All attempts to contact Mrs Kanwal for comment were unsuccessful.

She has no significant footprint online, but has links, including directorships, to several other firms in Huddersfield.

Documents also show that Havit Properties shares a business address with around 83 other companies.

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