Developer Kashiram Bhandari had originally hoped to transform the Earl David Hotel in Coaltown of Wemyss after he bought it in June 2019, but it has remained closed ever since after Fife Council refused plans to install uPVC double-glazed windows in the C-listed building.
However, Mr Bhandari has refused to walk away from the project and has now come back with a new listed building consent application to replace all the windows with timber-framed, small pane sash and case windows which will be truer to the hotel’s original appearance.
After it closed in 2016, the Earl David lay empty and was even targeted by squatters who broke in and caused extensive damage.
Police were also forced to raid the building after a cannabis farm was discovered in one of the upper rooms, with firefighters called when the upper rooms were set alight during the raid.
Mr Bhandari now hopes the revised application will be approved by either Fife Council planners or, if necessary, local councillors, and explained that a coat of paint will not be sufficient to repair the damage done to most of the existing windows in the building.
“Whilst the contractors were dismantling some of the existing windows for repair, they literally fell to pieces,” he noted.
“The casement bottom and mid rails were particularly rotten, some had been broken with glass and astragles missing.
“The sub-frames, sills and side boxes were, in most cases, at least partly rotten.
“Several of the windows had been screwed and nailed together, and screwed and painted shut.”
Mr Bhandari Has also confirmed that the building has been broken into four times in recent months, with windows broken to gain access, tools and equipment stolen, and extensive vandalism to plasterwork and decoration.
Fife Council planners have delegated powers to approve applications unless more than five objections are received, at which point the case will be handed over to local councillors for the final decision.