Former miners’ institute to be converted into affordable flats

Councillors give approval to convert Bowhill Miners' Institute into ten affordable flats in Cardenden.

Former miners’ institute to be converted into affordable flats LDRS
The C-listed building will retain its red brick facade.

A former miners’ institute in Fife which is at risk of collapse is to be given a new lease of life.

Ore Valley Housing Association’s application to turn the old Bowhill Miners’ Institute in Cardenden’s Main Street into ten affordable flats has been given the green light by Fife Council planners.

The C-listed building, which is on Scotland’s At Risk Register, has lain empty for more than 23 years and is in a significantly poor state of repair, although it was picked up by Ore Valley Housing Association at auction in 2019.

While the proposed development will see parts of the building demolished, the distinctive red brick facade fronting Main Street and gable fronting Kirkburn Drive are to be retained.

Case officer Bryan Reid said the proposals were acceptable to Fife Council and would contribute greatly to the overall character and setting of the listed building.  

“Given Cardenden’s mining history, the mining institute building would be considered to be a valuable community resource,” he said. 

“Whilst no market information has been submitted and there are no equivalent alternative facilities in the local area, given the long-term disuse of the building, its derelict state and the opportunity to preserve the listed building, it is considered that the principle of the change of use can be supported on this occasion. 

“Furthermore, given the predominately residential surroundings of the application site, it is considered that the proposed residential use would be well-suited to the location. 

“In conclusion, the loss of the miners institute use is considered to be acceptable and proposed residential use of the building are considered to be appropriate for the location.”

The proposed development will see the building’s slate roof and rear elevation taken down, a three-storey extension created to the side elevation and the rear elevation replaced.

Replacement roof tiles and windows are similarly proposed, while the front door will also be replaced to form a window.

One letter of objection had been received in response to this application, citing concerns about driveway access being blocked during construction and post development. 

However, Fife Council planners said they felt the proposed car park and vehicular access would not disrupt any neighbouring properties.

Story by local democracy reporter Craig Smith