A DALGETY BAY resident has hit out over the "indifference" of Tesco "ever increasing" shop closures in the town.

The man said that there could now be as many as five empty spaces on Regents Way due to rent demands by the supermarket, which owns all of the units there.

He added that the "appalling" management by Tesco demonstrates the company's "lack of care and interest to the town and the residents."

He said: "Why can Tesco management of their property's not accept lower rent rather have units standing empty with no financial return, this demonstrates Tesco's lack of care and interest to the town and the residents.

"No Post Office, No Bank, and Tesco which owns the largest unit on site could easily place the Post Office inside so increasing their trade or place this in one of the empty units which they own.

"I am told now that recent Units opened such as a Fish Shop restaurant and also a Café are both set to close, but also that Tesco have allowed the closure of a Unit used by Debra a Charity to help people with serious skin issues, closing of a Charity by Tesco is quite wrong all for profit and does their image no good in Society.

"This action by Tesco is just appalling and makes one ask the question, does the current Chairman of Tesco know what is happening at this local level by Tesco Stores management in Fife?"

The Press understands that Tesco did not ask DEBRA to leave and did offer a variety of support options before the decision to vacate was reached.

Councillor David Barratt, who represents the Inverkeithing and Dalgety Bay ward, said there had "historically" been a perception that Tesco charges too much in rent to businesses.

He told the Press that EYCO, which is marketing the post office unit, said the rents had been "substantially" reduced by £10,000 per annum to "reflect the perilous retail market we are in".

The Press reported in April that new tenants were being sought for the space, which has been vacant since the closure of RS McColls. 

Cllr Barratt said: "That unit has previously gone from £25,000 per year and now it has been reduced to £15,000.

"It certainly has been historically quite a bit higher and I know they have gone some way into reducing those rates, I assume that has been across the board.

"There has been a perception, one that the rent is too high and two that Tesco won't rent to a business that might compete with them.

"What they've said is they are only willing to rent to a 'complimentary user' so the suggestion is they won't rent to a bakery or a butcher or a fishmonger because they would take business away from the Tesco.

"It's in Tesco's interest in terms of the vitality of the centre but there is a wider concern and there has been for a few years about the rent value and the vitality of the retail area more generally and not just in Tesco's interest."

In addition to the post office space, Tesco is to offer further units at a reduced rent with an aim to support local businesses.