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VIDEO: Demolition crew starts work on Inverkeithing street

It was a bittersweet day for those with fond memories of the heyday of Inverkeithing’s Fraser Avenue as the demolition men moved in.

But for many others it was a red letter day in the history of the much beleaguered street when the first empty homes were torn down to make way for new housing in a £26 million regeneration plan.

The long street, shadowed by block after block of tall flats, has had a chequered past, as local councillor Alice McGarry recounted.

“When it was first built, people moved from Dunlop Terrace and to them it was luxury, they moved to houses that were warm. But standards have changed and that is why they are coming down.”

The houses have been increasingly hard to let in recent years, lending the area a rundown feel.

Built in the 50s and 60s, the street had been in terminal decline for many years, suffering from low demand and high turnover.

An ambitious regeneration plan was created by Fife Council, Kingdom Housing Association and the community itself to breathe new life into the area.

Fife’s housing spokeswoman Judy Hamilton said: “This is a great day for Fraser Avenue.

“While a lot of neighbours and people are nostalgic today this is not about the old, it is about giving way to the new.”

Depute leader Lesley Laird said the residents had been very patient while waiting for the redevelopment to start and that there were “exciting things” to come for the area.

Kingdom’s Scott Kirkpatrick said it was a privilege to work on the project, to deliver what the tenants needed.

Building work on the first phase, which will start after New Year, will see 53 homes built with the first tenants moving in in 2018.

The overall project is expected to be completed in 2021.

But looking back, as she watched the first houses tumble, was Margaret Parkin, 77, who raised her young family in Fraser Avenue.

“We felt lucky we got moved here,  those were good times, the neighbours were nice,” she said.

But then, she added, the area took a turn for the worse when an element “who did not look after their houses” were moved in.

For John McGregor too there were good memories.

“There were great neighbours and the flats were nice. When I was younger the doors were always open.”

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