The ‘Dirty Dozen’ - Kirkcaldy’s worst eyesores

The Hawkleymuir Linen Factory at junction of Lawson Street and Park Road
The Hawkleymuir Linen Factory at junction of Lawson Street and Park Road

Council draws up action plan to target the most dilapidated buildings

A list of twelve of the worst eyesores in Kirkcaldy has been drawn up to form part of an action plan to improve the town.

And two sites – the former Co-operative site in the High Street and the Victoria Road corridor, which includes the former Nairn’s linoleum works – have been identified as being a top priority.

The list has been compiled by Council officers as part of a Fife-wide audit and will form a programme of works, with two main properties or groups of buildings from each of the area committees as priority action areas. This will enable money to be set aside to deal with them through anything from negotiation with owners to enforced action.

In the Kirkcaldy area the main focus for the works centres around the town centre and waterfront; the access corridor along St Clair Street, Nairn Street and Victoria Road; and the Inverteil gateway.

Presenting a report to the Kirkcaldy area committee on Wednesday, David Grove, lead officer for economic development with Fife Council, said the programme would consist of between 10 and 15 properties which would be tackled on a rolling programme, alongside other initiatives.

“There needs to be a narrow focus as our resources are limited, so we need to focus on 10-15 across Fife at one time and as they are resolved another will take its place.”

Welcoming the report, Councillor Judy Hamilton said: “I think that the owners and tenants along the High Street will appreciate that work is being done.”

Councillor Kay Carrington said the Council should have more powers to push private property owners to improve their buildings and produce business plans.

Councillor Neil Crooks, committee chairman, said that some buildings on the list had been in a bad way for 20 years.

“The powers that exist seem inadequate for us to take positive action to deal with dilapidated buildings. We should be asking our officers to look at this in more depth, and if it doesn’t lie with us we should make representations to the government to take better care of our communities.”

The ‘List of Shame’:

Mountainlines, 281 High St: Shop currently in a dangerous condition but repair work being undertaken.

Doctors Row: Terrace of residential properties, some have undergone improvement works, but others remain in a dilapidated state.

Former Salvation Army Hall, Cairns St East: In an extremely poor and unsightly condition.

Former Hawkleymuir Works, Lawson St: Former factory, now derelict and has already had to be made safe.

Former greengrocer’s, 27-31 High St: Boarded-up empty shop at the west end of the street.

Former bus painting garage, Stagecoach depot and Stocks carpet warehouse, Inverteil: A cluster of vacant properties on a key route into the town centre.

Former Co-op gap site on corner of Oswald’s Wynd and High St: A small vacant site in a prominent town centre location. Planning consent for mixed use development has now lapsed.

Former cinema, High St: Long term vacant building which represents both a prominent vacant property and a potentially significant redevelopment opportunity. Residential element on upper floors is also a key consideration.

Former YMCA, Esplanade: Was partly occupied until recently. Some areas unsutable for occupation due to partial collapse.

Former Station Hotel, Bennochy Road: Several planning applications have been presented and withdrawn.

Victoria Road corridor: One of the main thoroughfares, bordered by numerous dilapidated buildings.

Olympia Arcade, High St: Glass topped mixed commercial and residential property with development potential.