New flats planned at landmark Kirkcaldy building left empty for five years

A landmark building in Kirkcaldy which has sat empty for five years is set to be transformed into a new residential development.

Monday, 19th July 2021, 1:03 pm

The Nairn Building at the harbour is the subject of a new planning application which would create 39 flats, a gym and commercial units at the former Fife College offices which once formed part of its Priory Campus.

And it is hoped the development will spark new interest in the adjacent Round House and Priory building both of which are in a dreadful state of neglect.

The Nairn building dominates the harbour area, sitting directly opposite Carr’s flour mill.

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The Nairn Building, Kirkcaldy harbour - formerly part of the Piory Campus of Fife College

Dating from around 1864, the three-storey, stone building would offer incredible views across the Forth.

The application has been lodged with Fife Council, by Rick Downes, of Stockport based EPD Homes.

The company is planning one and two bedroom flats, plus a gym and facilities for commercial use - and it has pledged to retain most of the fabric of the original stone facade.

In a supporting statement to the local authority, it said: “The conversion will reinvigorate and protect an important B-Listed building close to Kirkcaldy town centre.

The landmark Nairn building at Kirkcaldy harbour, former offices in Fife College's Priory Campus, could be turned into flats after a planning application was lodged with Fife Council.

“It will provide the building with a secure future and will help build a positive and lively townscape within this section of the Merchants’ Quarter.

“The proposals look to restore a number of the original building features and remove later additions not in- with the original envelope and, in particular, rear façade.

The distinctive front of the building is to be retained in its entirety.

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The statement added: ““The remaining one storey ad hoc extensions to the rear are also to be removed. The rear elevation has also been painted beige and it is the intention to remove this.”

The work ties in with the drive to create more residential development across the town centre.

Several projects are underway, including filling the gap site at the Co-op, above the Olympia Arcade, and the former Fife Free Press building, with a number of smaller developments making new use of empty storage space above many shops.

It is hoped the development will also spark new interest in the former Priory Campus which has been left in a state of decay since its closure.

The Round House and historic Priory House have both been repeatedly vandalised, with security fences regularly torn down, and the abandoned buildings used as a hide out by youths.

The Press re-visited the site earlier this month and found signs of further decay with the buildings left wide open.

The Nairn development - which is separate from the rest of the sprawling campus site - could be the key that unlocks the whole site’s development.

The company’s planning statement noted: “The development of Nairn Building will encourage investment and can potentially result in the refurbishment and/or restoration and alteration of the land and buildings within the old Fife Collage Priory estate.

“This conversion is the start of an opportunity to release and develop land for other uses.”

Development of the Nairn building - which had a tower added in to its east side in 1928 to facilitate mill works - would include parking for residents and visitors.

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