THERE is a new owner and new plans for Macbeth Currie's old offices on Dunfermline High Street.

The building's been empty since the estate agents and solicitors joined forces with Morgans in 2018 and plans to convert it into a shop with nine flats didn't get off the ground.

Now a new applicant, Rajan Pandey of Shine Properties Ltd, in Glasgow, has submitted an application to Fife Council for listed building consent for the property at 38 High Street, which is next to the gap site and proposed city square.

A planning statement on his behalf explained: "Work was commenced on the original project several years ago and then halted following a complete internal strip out.

"The property was then sold on the open market."

Blairston Investments, of Edinburgh, were given planning permission in June 2019 to convert the category C listed building, which was originally built for the Clydesdale Bank around 120 years ago.

Dunfermline Press: There are new plans to convert Macbeth Currie's old offices at 38 High Street, Dunfermline.There are new plans to convert Macbeth Currie's old offices at 38 High Street, Dunfermline. (Image: Google Maps)

Despite a Covid extension granted in August last year, consent expired at the end of March 2023 and the work was not completed.

The property changed hands and Mr Pandey has amended the plans, instead of a shop he wants to open a ground floor cafe serving hot food - "reheated, no cooking on premises" - while there are amendments to the window details and a small outbuilding, which was to be knocked down, is to be retained.

The statement added: "The new owners have found the windows to be in a very poor state of repair (following several years of further decay) and commissioned a report which is part of this submission.

"This indicated that the top floor dormer windows are beyond repair and will need replaced in their entirety.

"On the other floors the sashes require replacement, but the cases are capable of being repaired and refurbished as necessary.

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"The new sashes will be made as per the original, except that the units will be double glazed."

Under the new plans, the ground floor cafe would act both as a cafe and a "reception / service facility for the flats above". There would be a single entrance for the cafe and the flats.

Designed in 1902 for the Clydesdale Bank, 38 High Street is a local example of the traditional ‘banking palazzo’.

The previous applicant had described it as a "valued part of Dunfermline’s retail history" and added: "It is important that a way is found of retaining it and it avoid the fate (demolition!) of the Co-op building on the adjacent site.”