Lochgelly was denied the opportunity of a large supermarket, providing employment for about 80 people, with the provision of a much needed petrol station that would serve Lochgelly and the Benarty and Bowhill areas, in favour of a small store located at the FabTek site in the High Street.
This plan was heavily contested locally but was backed by the Lochgelly Charette and the Scottish Reporter, after the plans had been rejected by the Cowdenbeath Area Committee.
The local area has resigned itself to the fact that Lochgelly is not to be provided with the same opportunities as some other towns, but do recognise that the local area would still benefit from another store. While it will have limited employment opportunities and be situated in an area that will most likely suffer from traffic congestion, there is some in the community that want a store to be built, something is better than nothing.
With this in mind, we decided to make a Freedom of Information request through the non profit site WhatDoTheyKnow, asking Fife Council who will be responsible for building the store and when will work begin. The answer we received was;
I have spoken to the planner for the application and the planner within the Local & Community Policy team and unfortunately we do not have any information as to when this work will begin on site, nor who will be taking on the development. The only information we have to date is the planning application document and Local Plan submissions that relate to the site and these are all in the public domain.
So basically, no progress, as yet.
What is of concern, is that there is many rumours on the Lochgelly grapevine including:
- That the store was giving the go ahead, so the large supermarket will be blocked, allowing another large supermarket to be built in Cowdenbeath
- The small store plan was merely a paper exercise, whereby there was no intention of carrying out the expected work
- The small store was approved, to block the large store (for Lochgelly) in favour of a large store in Cowdenbeath. Meanwhile after the FabTek site has lain dormant for several years, developers will request the area be used for housing
Unfortunately, we don’t have any new information to quell or back-up the rumours, but what is certain, is that Lochgelly still hasn’t any additional stores, and from the looks of it, no work is being planned for the upcoming months.
What we also know, is that the Cowdenbeath area is now in line for another Supermarket, the exact location still to be decided, and to support the planning application, the same arguments used for the Lochgelly store are being used for the Cowdenbeath store.
Arguments, such as, it will prevent leakage of local money into surrounding areas (do people actually come to Lochgelly to do their shopping?!?), increase employment, and all the rest.
So will Lochgelly get an additional store or more houses? Was this a public exercise and paper exercise? Do the Cowdenbeath community actually want another supermarket in their town?
We would love to hear your feedback about the Lochgelly store and what is the viewpoint of people in the Cowdenbeath area, are you in support of the Cowdenbeath store, do you feel Cowdenbeath already has enough stores? Please feel free to comment below or post in the forums.