LIDL may have to wait on the grass growing before it can start work on its new Rosyth store. 

The cut-price supermarket is expected to get the go-ahead to build on land where the town’s junior football team currently play. 
Rosyth FC will be given a new pitch at the Fleet Grounds but it won’t be ready until October 2018 – and they’ll want to stay at Recreation Park until it is. 

Lidl’s planning permission could come as early as next month and the deal is linked to plans for the new pitch, which are expected to get the nod at the same time. 

A statement from the the council said: “The new football ground, which satisfies the requirements of the Scottish Junior Football Association, should be ready by early October 2018 although, as the pitch needs to be seeded and given a full growing season, it won’t be ready for the start of the 2018/19 football season.”

Rosyth FC have played at Recreation Park, off Admiralty Road, since 1992 but in August last year the council sanctioned the sale of their pitch for development.

Lidl want to flatten the derelict Yard pub next to the ground and use the whole site for a new store, which would create up to 40 full- and part-time jobs. 

Part of the agreement was that the council would find the team somewhere else to play. 

Negotiations will take place and one option will be for the club to continue to play its home matches at Recreation Park, up to the point they switch to the Fleet Grounds in October 2018. 

Depending on how talks go, and when Lidl want to start on site, Rosyth could switch their fixtures at the start of the 2018-19 season and play away games until the new pitch is ready. 

Or they could play at a temporary ‘home’ ground elsewhere, something the club are not keen on. 

Rosyth chairman Davie Ogg said: “We’re not prepared to go anywhere else. 

“We got offered to go to Ballingry but for a lot of reasons it just wasn’t viable.” 

The new pitch will be in the bottom right-hand corner of the Fleet Grounds, next to Wilson Way, and will be enclosed by a two-metre high fence.

There will be 32 car-parking spaces, gates to get in and a 1.2m-high rail surrounding the pitch, as well as changing rooms and spaces for dug-outs. 

Mr Ogg said: “It’s what we want although I don’t think the changing room area is big enough. 

“But it’s a starting point, we’ll take what’s there and build it up. 

“I’m hoping they’ll model it on East Calder’s set-up. I looked at the footprint there, had a walk round and drew up plans based on what they had, the size and width and how they’ve managed their site, and it’s not asking for a lot. 

“We’ve still to work out where we take opposing teams after the game, we can’t have a bar on the site as it’s a sports hub, but we’ll work these things out later.” 

He added: “We’ll train on the astro, which is next to our site, and the rates for hiring it are good so hopefully everything will work out well. 

“It’s a process. It’s all positive but it’s just dragged on for a long time.”

The Fleet Grounds were sold to the council by the Ministry of Defence in 2014 for £133,000 and the South West Fife Sports Partnership was created with a view to leasing the land and turning it into a sports hub.

A condition of that arrangement is that the football ground will be sub-leased to a party nominated by the council – in this case, Rosyth FC.
Plans for the Lidl store and new pitch could be approved by the end of next month, the partnership is also expected to have taken on the site by then.