Developers welcome green light for major plans at former Fife papermill

Tullis Russell site.
Tullis Russell site.

The developers behind a massive project to transform the site of a former Glenrothes papermill have welcomed the planning green light from councillors

Tullis Russell’s site is set to host up to 850 new homes as well as retail and leisure zones, a care village, and an expansion to Riverside Park.

The application was hailed by once local councillor as “the most significant potential development” since the demise of Glenrothes Development Corporation.

Councillors at the central and west Fife planning committee gave approval, in principle, to the development which is expected to take around 10 years to complete.

It faced a number of objections, including from ASDA and the biomass plant, over concerns that noise complaints would lead to restrictions on the companies.

The project will see upgrades to the Markinch roundabout, with traffic expected to reroute though the new development, to avoid the busy junction at Cadham Road End – officers also talked of a possibility of closing the junction off altogether.

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Councillor John Beare, SNP, North Glenrothes and Markinch, said: “Without doubt the application for housing and business use is the most significant potential development in Glenrothes since the days of Glenrothes Development Corporation.

“Further detailed applications will need to come forward before any development can commence on site and issues like traffic flows from and to Cadham will be part of that process.”

The formal approval was welcomed by the companies at the heart of the project.

Colin Lavety, planning director at Barton Willmore, said: “We are extremely pleased to we have secured planning consent for this significant development which has been the culmination of a lot of hard work between our project team, Fife Council, the local community and other statutory stakeholders.

“This is a unique opportunity to create something very special in the town, and the redevelopment of the former paper mill will open up new links from this exciting mixed-use district to the rest of Glenrothes and the A92, delivering a significant number of new homes, of which 10 per cent will be affordable, create jobs and breathe new life into this area of the town.”

Seamus Shields, managing director of Advance Construction, said: “We are delighted to have reached this key milestone in the development process and are excited by the prospect of transforming this high profile vacant site, as well as creating a significant number of new homes and jobs.

“Not only will this provide a genuine social and economic boost to the town, but it will stimulate further growth. We look forward to continuing to work positively with Fife Council and our development partners to bring these proposals to fruition.”

Sandy Easdale, co-owner of Advance Construction, added: “We’re delighted that councillors have given the go-ahead to the regeneration of the former Tullis Russell paper mill site. This development has the power to transform Glenrothes and breathe new life into the local economy.

“We forecast that the development will cost in the region of £250million, creating 300 jobs during construction and 800 permanent jobs once complete. We want to see lasting benefits to the region from this development and the improvements to the road network, especially at the Cadham junction, will be positive for existing residents and businesses.

“Our project team, led by experts at Advance Construction, will be undertaking groundworks and civil engineering work on the site but we will be working in conjunction with leading housebuilders to create high quality residential units. We have already had five housebuilders from across the UK expressing serious interest in the site and we expect this number to increase over the next few months.

“This is going to be an exceptional development with great transport and leisure options and there is great anticipation about what it will deliver for the region’s bright future.”