A LOCAL property developer has bought the Crown Hotel in Cowdenbeath, the Times can reveal.

Following years of work behind the scenes to turn the once-popular hotel into a viable business again, it has emerged that a Fife developer has bought the premises.

In June of this year, work begun on turning the Crown Hotel in Cowdenbeath into a restaurant and habitable property.

Fife Council granted permission for the plans back in June 2018, following an application to change the fire-hit hotel into a viable business once again.

Plans submitted to the council in 2017 state the applicant, Ayaz Khan, who has now sold the site, wants to change the hotel to a restaurant on the ground floor, along with a retail unit and one-bedroom flat.

It is understood the plans remain largely the same, although the new owner will be making slight alterations to them.

The first floor would have 11 HMO units.

Following many discussions between council officials and the applicants, the plans were approved three years ago.

One of the conditions the council gave with its permission was to introduce a traffic calming measure, which saw a hump installed on the street outside the premises.

When granting permission, Fife Council outlined its reasoning, saying: “It is considered, in this instance, that the change of use from hotel (class 1) to retail (class 1), restaurant (class 3), 1 flatted dwelling (sui generis) and HMO (11 persons) of this fire damaged dilapidated property would not have an adverse impact on the vitality and viability of Cowdenbeath town centre, and would help bring a vacant town centre unit back into use, therefore the proposal does comply with the adopted FIFEplan (2017).”

The former hotel was gutted by a horrific fire more than a decade ago and it has since been an eyesore on the town’s High Street.

Councillors Alex Campbell and Gary Guichan have long battled for the premises to be improved to give the street an overall life, but most attempts have been quashed.

The building was up for auction recently as property firm National Property Auctions listed the site for around £160,000.