Plans for new town houses in heart of Kirkcaldy High Street get go-ahead

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New town houses are set to be built in Kirkcaldy town centre after councillors approved a bid by a developer.

The four new residences will be built above Cupcake Coffee Box in the High Street, bringing the upper floors of the former McDonald’s fast food business back into use for the first time in many years. The application by Tyndedale Limited does not affect the cafe business.

The property is one of the many historic buildings in the High Street - it dates back to 1859 and is Category B listed. The first floor was previously a seating area when McDonalds operated, and has been unused since 2012, with offices on the second and thirds floors, but they were previously flats. It is thought they have been unoccupied for up to 50 years. The work would involve no changes to the High Street frontage.

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A number of efforts have been made to find businesses to move into the upper floors without success, and a supporting statement, submitted as part of the application, said demand for retail and office space in the High Street was “minimal.”

The flats are planned for the floors above the coffee shopThe flats are planned for the floors above the coffee shop
The flats are planned for the floors above the coffee shop

It added: “The cost of investment to provide even the most basic of first floor office space - since Covid demand is nil - would not work as there would be no return. The only possible way to try make the building work would be to convert the upper floors to residential.”

In 2017, Mike Lowe, who recently retired from running Cupcake Coffee Box, worked on plans to establish K Street on the upper floors which would have involved a licensed coffee and food area as well as businesses such as a gents hairdresser and tattooist. He continued to market it until lockdown without success. He described the pandemic as “the final nail in the K Street coffin.”

Councillors approved the developers plans with the condition that work starts within three years - a standard planning clause - and noise mitigation and ventilation measures identified by officers were carried out. Listed building consent approval, partly in retrospect, was also given for for internal and external

alterations including roof works and the installation of windows, rooflight and gate.