THE old Hotel Roma in Halbeath has been knocked down to make way for a Stephens' drive-thru but now it's what lay beneath the derelict ruin that needs to be dealt with.

Sonder Developments are behind the plans for the new bakery at Main Street and, after the building was demolished and trees and bushes removed, site investigations found trace amounts of asbestos in the soil and "elevated" levels of carbon dioxide.

Fife Council said work on the new Stephens – which will be a scone's throw from bakery rival Greggs shop at Halbeath – cannot get underway until the risk of any potential land contamination had been investigated and a report submitted and approved.

Sonder Developments say that planning condition has now been complied with and have detailed the remediation measures that will be employed.

Dunfermline Press: A new Stephens drive-thru is set to be created in Halbeath, on the site of the former Hotel Roma.A new Stephens drive-thru is set to be created in Halbeath, on the site of the former Hotel Roma. (Image: Contributed)

A report added: "During previous intrusive investigations, trace asbestos was identified locally in one position within some reworked made ground / topsoil on the central eastern portion of the site.

"Following a recent delineation investigation, it is apparent that the actual volume of materials potentially containing asbestos is very small."

Soil in this area will be excavated and either removed from the site or buried at depth "below a layer of Visqueen" – polyethylene plastic sheeting.

To deal with the carbon dioxide, a gas resistant membrane and reinforced concrete slab are proposed for underneath the development.

After it closed in November 2006, the abandoned Hotel Roma deteriorated and the site became a magnet for vandalism, anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

It was also badly damaged by a fire.

Locals, who had been calling for years for it to be knocked down, said the derelict building was an eyesore that was being used for underage drinking and drug-taking.

The bakery shop and drive-thru will create 20 new jobs and trade from 6am to 5.30pm, Monday to Sunday.