Fife Council's £70,000 car park deal at closed Kirkcaldy shopping centre 'outrageous'

Fife Council is paying £70,000 annually for a near empty car park above a boarded up shopping centre in Kirkcaldy, it has been revealed.
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The local authority has an 84-year lease on the car park above the former Postings in the town centre which has been boarded and bricked up in a bid to thwart vandals.

According to David Torrance, MSP for Kirkcaldy, that means the deal amounts to £5,880,000 over the remainder of the lease.

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He described the lease as “outrageous” and demanded that the council justify the payments given the major decline in usage of the car park.

David Torrance MSP at the entrance to the car park above the closed former Postings Centre in KirkcaldyDavid Torrance MSP at the entrance to the car park above the closed former Postings Centre in Kirkcaldy
David Torrance MSP at the entrance to the car park above the closed former Postings Centre in Kirkcaldy

He also criticised the local authority over a lack of maintenance on site.

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The Postings - rebranded the Kirkcaldy Centre until its closure last summer - was once the second highest revenue generator among all car parks in Fife.

The closure of Tesco had a devastating impact on numbers almost overnight.

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Only the former Tolbooth Street car park generated more revenue in Fife until its closure to make way for the construction of the £15m Kirkcaldy Leisure Centre – a move which sparked huge opposition in the town with High Street businesses warning the loss of the ground-level parking would have an immediate impact on trade.

Mr Torrance said: “How can Fife Council justify paying £70,000 a year to the owner of the now boarded up Postings Centre?

“There is very little use from motorists at the roof top car park as there is no access to Kirkcaldy High Street and there is only access to the bus station and Hunter Street from two stairwells.

“With no access to the High Street the car park will be generating very little income – is this a good use of public funds?”

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Mr Torrance said the length of the lease was “outrageous” and that the total of the cost was “absurd”.

“I find the length of the lease absolutely outrageous and for Fife Council to pay nearly £6m on top of what it has already paid to the owner of the centre is quite frankly absurd!

The SNP MSP also took the council to tsk over what he said was a lack of maintenance.

“The council doesn’t even seem to be keeping on top of maintenance of the car park as it is caked with bird droppings from a sizable flock of seagulls that are nesting on the flat roofs which not only causes a slip hazard but also a health and safety issue.”

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He added: “Fife Council is always crying out for funds and this cost for a car park that brings in very little income is a huge waste of resources.”

Susan Keenlyside, service manager for sustainable transport and parking, said: "The car park was secured by Fife Regional Council back in 1981.

“ It Is still in regular use and it remains a central facility serving the town centre.

"Most recently, part was used by the NHS in support of the Covid response.

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"The stairs and stairwells are cleaned each weekday morning and the car park itself is regularly maintained.

“Unfortunately, we are limited to what we can do about seagulls in the area as they are protected. We would urge people not to feed them."