THE conversion of the former St Andrews Church building in Bank Street, Lochgelly, into a climbing centre came closer with Fife Council giving permission to a change in the plans for the rear extension to the facility.

The building has been lying empty for many years, since the creation of St Serf's Church in Benarty and Lochgelly, which is based at the former Macainsh Church in Main Street, Lochgelly, and Hill Road, in Ballingry.

Architect Jennifer Rooney submitted to the council: "We would like to request a non-material variation for the project. I have attached the relevant


"We have retained the concept of an interesting geometric shape, however, have squared off the top edge due to buildability issues forming the shape shown previously.

"In addition, we are proposing a more consistent approach to the cladding using Euroclad Vieo and Brett Martin Clickfix.

"This is due to budget, and buildability, however, we feel that it should not change the original concept as a variation in colours will distinguish the two volumes as before. We note that confirmation of materials and colours was also covered within the planning conditions."

The council planning department said: "The variation as described is not considered to be material and is hereby agreed. As a consequence a further

planning permission is not required in this instance".

The people behind the project hope that the new centre will be open in 2021 and attract people from all over Scotland to use what will be a unique facility to the country.

It will be geared to providing difficult climbs for people of all types of climbing skills.