Former Fife Free Press office to be turned into flats

The former home of the FFP.
The former home of the FFP.

The former home of the Fife Free Press offices is to be converted into flats.

Planning permission was approved to convert the offices at 23 Kirk Wynd, Kirkcaldy, into six flats.

The move will see use of the building changed from business to residential.

The office, which was home to the editorial and advertising teams for 50 years, will now accommodate six flats.

It is a major step towards turning empty buildings into homes and increasing the residential mix within Kirkcaldy town centre – one of the key aims in regenerating the area as retail and footfall continues to decline.

Five of the flats will have two-bedrooms, and there will also be a single-bedroom property. Four of the flats will be on the top floor – some with views across into the Old Kirk – with one on the first and second floor respectively.

The plan is to retain the ground floor, which was once the building’s reception, as office space.

The original plan had been to offer the property as office space in the centre of Kirkcaldy, however it is understood that there had been few takers.

The private car park on the corner of Hill Street will have space for 14 vehicles, and the flats are also required to have six secure cycle parking spaces.

The office block has been empty since the Press moved out in January 2018 to its new location at Carlyle House, on Carlyle Road, bringing to an end five decades as its headquarters in Fife.

While Fife Council planning policy doesn’t normally allow for housing in town centres, it was noted in the 
application that it would be suitable due to the long-term lack of interest for commercial use.

Andrew Pitowskie, for AD Associates, added in his supporting statement: “The building was bought at a property auction, by my client, who in turn, considered various options for development.”

In granting planning permision, the council felt that the building would remain in keeping with the character of the area.

The approval notice said: “The change of use from Class 4 Office to six flatted dwellings is compatible with its surroundings and in the context of the streetscape and the appearance of the existing building the proposed works are acceptable.

“The proposed development would also not have any detrimental impacts on residential amenity and road safety.”