The crumbling remains of a St Andrews sawmill dating back more than 150 years are to be pulled down.
St Andrews Sailing Club said the Old Pump House, on its site in Woodburn Place, has become a safety hazard and the club has applied for permission to have it knocked down.
Fife Council, which leases the site to the club, is not opposed to the demolition plans and St Andrews Preservation Trust said the building’s historical interest was “minimal”.
David Middleton from the trust said: “Most people don’t even know it’s there.”
It would cost an estimated £245,000 to bring the relic, built in 1851, back into use.
The sailing club’s vice commodore John Barnett said options for preserving the building had been explored but the costs were “well beyond the resources of the club”.
Mr Barnett said: “Since restoration, re-use or full repair is not economically viable, the club seeks authority to demolish the buildings and use the recovered land within the boat yard for storing additional boats and creating a storage facility for university watersports clubs, for both of which there is a demonstrable demand.”
He said the club was expanding, both as a recreation facility for families and as a competitive club.
“We’re trying to organise our facilities to support that,” he added.
The Old Pump House has been fenced off and warning signs put up to protect the public from falling masonry.
Mr Barnett said the club had taken out liability insurance for the non-listed structure “at considerable expense”.
Under the current lease, the club is responsible for the maintenance of the pump house but Fife Council is renegotiating the terms of the lease.
Ken Duncan, lead officer for property services, said: “While negotiations have not yet concluded, it’s likely that a new lease would allow them to demolish the pump house, subject to the club obtaining all necessary consents and meeting all of the costs.”
Mr Middleton from St Andrews Preservation Trust said: “I think the trust has bigger issues to fight, because even if the building was restored it would not be a building of merit, just a square block of stone really.”
The sailing club has plans to re-use some of the stone blocks from the Old Pump House, in particular the 1851 date carving.
The pump house was part of a sawmill which operated between the 1850s and 1880s.