A LAND sale confirmed by councillors last week could see an end to a five-year wait for a new Lidl supermarket in Rosyth and a home for the town’s football club.

Fife Council’s cabinet committee agreed last week to sell an area north of Admiralty Road which would make way for the new store.

Council leader David Ross said: “A number of elements have now come together which will provide a new Lidl supermarket for the town, improved sporting facilities, the ability to provide new housing and a preferred site for the replacement Inverkeithing High School.

“This is good news for Rosyth and I’m delighted we’ve finally been able to take this complex sale forward."

The plan was first proposed in 2017, but it meant that Rosyth FC would be forced to give up their ground at Recreation Park.

As part of the deal, the club moved out in 2018 and developers Mactaggart & Mickel were required to provide a replacement pitch and facilities, with a location initially agreed upon at the Fleet Grounds before the decision was made to site the new Inverkeithing High School there.

It had then been hoped they would be involved with Dunfermline Athletic’s plans for a training ground at the civil service sports club site in the town, however Rosyth FC were left “disappointed” when left out of the final proposals.

A planning application for a new artificial pitch at Pitreavie was submitted in August while Mactaggart & Mickel in September asked the council for permission to change a condition of their existing consent which would allow both plans to progress.

The council have now confirmed that a contribution will be made towards the cost of constructing a new pitch at the playing fields which will also support community use.

It is anticipated that the balance of the land remaining at Recreation Park will be used by the authority for new housing.

Russell Craig, chairman of Rosyth FC, has been at the forefront of pushing plans on and said there was now a “light at the end of the tunnel”.

He added: “It’s been a very long project which I took on five years ago. I am delighted, it’s been bubbling away in the background.

“The issues we have had have been horrendous, when we moved out we were promised a park at the Fleet Grounds but it has been delay after delay, no feasible option has been put on the table.”

Mr Craig had approached Pitreavie Sport & Soccer Centre to discuss what plans could be put in place, with a resultant agreement for a new pitch, floodlights and upgrades to current facilities.

Though he says that providing a new supermarket for Rosyth has also been at the heart of plans, Recreation Park has been left as an “eyesore” in the meantime.

“We had to consider the delay it was having on the shop getting built,” he continued. “It’s not been great for the community – there was a lot of anxiety about when it would be happening.

“Indications are very positive, we will have a new park for us, and it will be there for the community as well, it’s about being able to give something back so it’s a win-win for everyone.

“It offers a massive long-term security for the club – that’s all we wanted, the stability.”

Rosyth councillor Andrew Verrecchia hopes the “hugely complex matter”, which has drawn on throughout his years as a representative, may finally be coming to a conclusion.

He said: “I see this as the key which unlocks the door. I am cautiously delighted that this has come through but it’s not cut and dried yet, a few things still need to happen.

"I am hugely relieved, a lot of people thought Lidl had pulled out, people are struggling, so it will be good to have a retailer locally where you can get more value for money.

“When ground is finally broken it will be a huge sigh of relief, but of equal importance is the football club, there’s so much more which goes with that.”

A Mactaggart & Mickel spokesperson said that the company is “delighted at the council’s decision and welcomes the progress”.

Lidl added that they are looking forward to working with local authorities to develop the new store.