Plans to create jobs at the mothballed Hyundai site in Dunfermline have been thwarted again after it was revealed no investors have come forward in the last six years.
When the masterplan for the site in Dunfermline’s eastern expansion was approved in 2014, it included proposals for a renewable energy plant, hotel, shops, warehouses and offices.
The plans had the potential to create hundreds of jobs.
But developer Shepherd Offshore now wants to amend the plans to prioritise housebuilding, which was to be phased pending delivery of employment land.
In a report prepared for Shepherd Offshore, commercial real estate firm Colliers International said: “Despite an extensive marketing exercise over the last five or six years, there have been no approaches for these uses on site to date and therefore the remainder of the site remains vacant and undeveloped.”
Fife College has purchased a 20 acre portion of the land for a new campus and it has been mooted this could be linked with a new school to serve pupils of St Columba’s RC High School and the fire-ravaged Woodmill High.
The report went on: “The wider market is also aware of the Fife College land purchase completed in November 2018 and which was negotiated in the preceding years. There is also active interest by Fife Council at present, who have an ambition for the balance of the southern part of the site to be utilised for the provision of a new secondary school.
“This is where the substantive balance of industrial/business land area was proposed to be located.”
The site has the potential to deliver up to 450 new homes. A total of 225 have already been built and the amendment to Shepherd Offshore’s planning consent would mean all the homes would be delivered in the first phase of the project.
Under the existing planning consent, further development cannot take place until nearly nine acres of employment land is developed, in addition to a hotel and convenience stores being delivered.
Despite the changes to phasing, the area earmarked for employment remains the same.
Shepherd Offshore have maintained there would be “no amendment to approved uses proposed, just an amendment in terms of the order in which these uses are delivered.”
Colliers International concluded: “The modification of the phasing plan is a critical component of the delivery strategy for the wider site, and will allow progression of the wider development.”
The site has repeatedly failed to deliver promised job opportunities.
In 1997, South Korean conglomerate Hyundai built a microchip plant there, raising hopes of nearly 800 jobs being brought to the area but the hopes were dashed by an economic crisis in the Far East.
Despite being bought by Motorola in 2000 for £1.3 billion, the plant became a white elephant as electronics manufacturing jobs were outsourced to Eastern Europe and Asia.
The factory was dismantled without a single microchip being manufactured.