PLANS have been approved to change the use of the Hideaway restaurant at Halbeath and turn the premises into a house.

It closed last September after owners Ian and Sheila Wotherspoon retired and another couple, Gordon and Suzanne Bailie, of Fulmar Drive in Dunfermline, have now received permission to convert it.

The restaurant, which was formerly the Halbeath Miners’ Welfare Institute, is off Kingseat Road and the building will now be saved after previous proposals to flatten it.

In November 2019, the council gave Mr and Mrs Wotherspoon the go-ahead to demolish it and build eight new homes on the site.

However, those plans changed and a planning statement explained: "Whilst the application (for the eight homes) was successful, the economical viability of developing the site is impaired due to the potential costs of dealing with the historical mine workings.

“Furthermore, the COVID-19 outbreak has put further significant pressure on the viability of a restaurant on this site. Therefore, the proposal is simply to convert the existing property into a dwelling.”

The council approved this last week.

A report added: "The proposal is considered to be compatible with its surrounds in terms of land use; would not cause any significant detrimental impacts on the amenity of the surrounding area or road safety and is considered to be visually acceptable."

A firm favourite with West Fife diners over the years, the restaurant was latterly trading as The Pantry & Kitchen at the Hideaway.