The gap site (above) has been an eyesore in the Bonnygate for several years following the demolition of an unsafe building. Cupar Development Trust put forward the original proposals for this site to Cupar’s Charrette in 2016, and now supports the current proposals for this important project which will improve the use of the land in and behind the gap site between the Bonnygate and Kirk Wynd and improve its value for the community. It will restore an attractive frontage on Bonnygate, demolish or develop derelict buildings in and around the Bonnygate car park, including what used to be a Chocolate Factory on Kirk Wynd and will create much needed affordable housing. It will open up neglected historic closes to create better access through into Crossgate.
The older buildings in Cupar’s town centre date from the several periods of the town’s history of economic growth. On the main streets, buildings were adapted as the local economy grew and on occasion they were replaced. Land to the rear of the main streets was built on to accommodate stables, wash-houses and industries which supported the primary activities of the main street buildings. However, this ‘cheek-by-jowl’ development came to an end as the town expanded during the last century. Goods could be transported easily from industrial estates making the older back-buildings obsolete. Often they fell derelict as tighter building standards were introduced. Clearance and re-development became the best solution but the location was not commercially attractive.
The Inner Court project which will address these issues has been planned by Kingdom Housing Association (KHA) and their architects Sinclair Watt. Progress has been made but delayed by the Coronavirus pandemic. Because this is a Conservation Area, a consent application needed to be lodged with Fife Council and is still being considered. The next stage, if approved, will allow an archaeological investigation and give clearance for demolition of some buildings which are in poor condition. Historic Environment Scotland (HES) and the conservation section within Fife Council would prefer to see more stone buildings retained, but the financial viability of that is uncertain.
The project as originally proposed comprised 24 dwellings, which are a mix of 15 flats and 9 houses (one or two bedrooms) and a commercial unit built within the Bonnygate Gap site. The proposal to create 2 flats at the Chocolate Factory is particularly expensive and as a result KHA are having to look at the option of leaving the Chocolate Factory undeveloped.
KHA are currently considering how to make the project proposals available for public consultation, given the current rules that are in place for social distancing. The timing of the consultation will be also be dependent on getting all the land rights assembled and an economically viable project option being agreed.
A birdseye image of the Inner Court development as originally envisaged
Current Plans for the Inner Court development
Cupar Development Trust is a Company Limited by Guarantee (SC522831)