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Developer submits plans for derelict Kirkcaldy school targeted by fireraisers

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Plans to build new homes at a derelict Kirkcaldy school have been submitted after the building was targeted by fireraisers.

Earlier this month, a blaze broke out at the former Viewforth High School building in Loughborough Road.

The fire, described as an “arson attempt” by Edinburgh-based developers Whiteburn, started in one of the former classrooms.

It followed an incident in October 2017, when a major fire caused significant damage to the B-listed annexe, formerly known as Eastbank House.

Whiteburn confirmed the latest vandalism had not derailed plans to transform the former school into homes.

The firm has submitted a proposal to create 96 new homes at the site, which would include converting the original C-listed building and providing a mixture of three and four bedroom homes, as well as two bedroom apartments.

Architect’s illustration of how the development might look.

Roger Bainbridge, director of design and delivery for Whiteburn Projects, said: “The C-listed former school building was recently victim to an arson attempt however having viewed the extend of the damage we are still confident of delivering our proposals.

“Our public consultation events were well-attended, and we received some helpful feedback from various members of the local community who took the time to share their views and suggestions.

“We’ve been able to consider these views as our plans for the development have evolved, as well as work with Fife Council throughout the pre-application process.

“Working with architects LBA, we are now excited to be able to submit a robust set of proposals that we believe will transform the grounds of the former Viewforth High School in Kirkcaldy.”

The old school building dates back to around 1870 and was initially occupied by John Scott, a local engineer and shipbuilder.

Eastbank was then bought by Henry William Hutchison, of East Bridge Flour Mills, in 1902 and significant alternations were carried out before Fife County Council later purchased the building in 1929.

Fife Council confirmed back in 2012 that it was looking at ways to replace the buildings at Viewforth High after they were rated as among the poorest condition of secondary schools across the region, and education chiefs went on to pursue plans to incorporate the school as part of the new Windmill Campus to cater for the rising population in eastern Kirkcaldy.

The school closed its doors at the end of the 2016 term after 108 years of service.

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