Fife Council has slammed troubled retailer Tesco after it announced it would no longer be building a supermarket in Leven.
A spokesman confirmed the news on Monday, admitting it was a “difficult decision”.
It comes as the supermarket faces a major challenge from cut-price stores.
In a statement, it said: “Customer shopping habits have changed significantly over recent years, with more people choosing to shop online and in convenience stores.
“In light of this we have reviewed our plans for new large store in Leven and taken the difficult decision not to proceed.
“We know that some will be disappointed by this decision and would like to thank everyone who supported our plans.
‘‘We’ll continue to work hard to serve local customers from our other stores in Fife and through our online home delivery service.”
Reacting to the news, Fife Council leader David Ross said: “We are all bitterly disappointed, particularly as it comes in the same week as the highly successful opening of the Dunfermline store.”
“It’s also the second time in a year a community has been let down after the cancellation of the Glenrothes project.
“The Leven store would have helped the economic regeneration of the area, brought new jobs and helped give shoppers more choice.”
Cllr Ross said he would now be writing to chief executive Dave Lewis to seek assurances that Tesco is still committed to its plans for a Cowdenbeath store, as well as planned works at the existing Cupar and Kirkcaldy stores.
Depute leader Lesley Laird, spokesman for economy and planning added: “We realise this news will no doubt leave many in the Leven community frustrated and angry, but I’d like to give a reassurance we will do all we can to attract new interest to this site and continue to work to regenerate the area.”
“Tesco may have moved on from Leven but the Council has not.”
Councillor Tom Adams, chairman of the Levenmouth area committee told the Mail: “I’m obviously really disappointed that they are no longer coming to the town but I can understand the reasons as Tesco are going through a difficult period at the moment.” Councillor Alistair Hunter added: “It’s a loss to the town that we won’t have the additional jobs and additional consumer choice in the area, but it’s a relief that we won’t have a corporate retail giant moving in to put even more pressure on our local small businesses.”