THE former Crown Hotel in Cowdenbeath is set for a new lease of life.

It has sat vacant for 13 years, but now Fife Council has approved plans to transform the building into five flats with two retail shops beneath. 

The new application was lodged on behalf of Mr Rudi Tanner of Dunfermline.

The former hotel stood at 6 High Street until 2009 when it was ravaged by fire. Since then, the historic building  which dates from 1868, has “lain open to the elements and has deteriorated further.” 

Developers say the fire caused “serious structural damage which necessitated the removal of the upper floors and roof.” 

“The proposals aim to rehabilitate the remaining dilapidated structures and bring them back to life,” a design statement said. “Having been in a dilapidated condition for the past 13 years, the proposals shall add vitality and vigour to this end of the High Street.” 

The new development would consist of two ground floor retail shops directly accessed from High Street. One house and four flats would have individual entrances from the rear as well as a common stairwell on the north side of the building. 

According to the design statemen, the development will be a “key contributor in the regeneration of Cowdenbeath Town Centre.” 

Other developers have previously had permission to cultivate the site.

In 2009, a plan to demolish the hotel and build 12 flats was withdrawn. In 2013, councillors rejected a bid to turn it into a car wash and care sales business.

In 2018, they gave approval for it to be transformed into a restaurant with retail opportunities, but the plans never developed.