Call to find fu­ture use for town’s ‘blot on the land­scape’ build­ings

Empty town house and at-risk for­mer ho­tel un­der re­view

The Courier & Advertiser (Fife Edition) - - NEWS - Claire War­ren­der cwar­ren­der@the­

Coun­cil­lors have launched a bid for ac­tion at two of west Fife’s most recog­nis­able build­ings.

A fea­si­bil­ity study has been or­dered to look at the fu­ture use of Cow­den­beath’s town house which has lain empty since lo­cal au­thor­ity staff were moved out around 18 months ago.

Of­fi­cers are also look­ing into the pos­si­bil­ity of mak­ing a com­pul­sory pur­chase or­der for the town’s at-risk Crown Ho­tel, branded a blot on the land­scape.

The build­ings are in the High Street in the town cen­tre, close to where a ma­jor de­vel­op­ment is due to be­gin next year.

The moves fol­low a mo­tion to Fife Coun­cil’s Cow­den­beath area com­mit­tee by Labour coun­cil­lors Gary Guichan and Alex Camp­bell.

Mr Guichan de­scribed the town house as an iconic and much-loved build­ing.

“It sad­dens many peo­ple to see it closed and un­used,” he said.

“With the rede­vel­op­ment of the south end of the High Street hope­fully due to start in the new year, we also feel that mak­ing progress with the north end is equally im­por­tant.”

He said sell­ing the build­ing would be a back­ward step for the town and added: “We are in­struct­ing the rel­e­vant of­fi­cers to un­der­take a fea­si­bil­ity study to ex­plore pos­si­ble uses for the build­ing and re­port back to this com­mit­tee.”

The for­mer Crown Ho­tel has been empty for more than a decade and has been on the Build­ings At Risk Reg­is­ter since 2009.

It has no roof and the en­tire build­ing is in a state of se­ri­ous dis­re­pair.

The mo­tion to com­mit­tee said: “The pro­gres­sive de­cline in the con­di­tion of the build­ing serves to in­crease the risk it presents to the com­mu­nity.”

Mr Camp­bell told coun­cil­lors: “The im­pact pre­sented by the derelict con­di­tion of a build­ing in such a prom­i­nent po­si­tion is a ma­jor im­ped­i­ment to the re­al­i­sa­tion of fu­ture op­por­tu­ni­ties for rede­vel­op­ment and re­gen­er­a­tion at that end of the town.”

Coun­cil of­fi­cers will look at the fea­si­bil­ity of a com­pul­sory pur­chase or­der and re­port back on any fi­nan­cial and le­gal im­pli­ca­tions early in the new year.

It sad­dens many peo­ple to see it closed and un­used

Pic­ture: Dougie Ni­col­son.

The for­mer Crown Ho­tel in Cow­den­beath’s High Street has been empty for more than a decade.

Labour councillor Gary Guichan called for progress on the north end of the High Street.

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