The community of Mayfield is fighting plans to demolish the town’s oldest building and build flats in its place.
Forth Tay Residential has submitted plans to demolish the 100-year-old former farm building, which has been empty since ‘The Rowantree Inn’ closed after Dean Williams was jailed for 10 and a half years after the fatal stabbing of Craig Essen at the pub in November 2013.
Locals have been left angered by the demolition plans and hope to put pressure on councillors to “call it in”, amid fears the application could be approved without going before the planning committee.
Mayfield & Easthouses Community Council chairman Robert Hogg is leading the fight to save the building.
He said: “It’s been lying empty since that murder six years ago. It’s been shut ever since. The owner is from Fife and has been looking to sell for a long time. It has been dragging on.
“The community wants to save the buildings as it’s the oldest building in Mayfield and Easthouses.
“It’s the old Mayfield Farm, so it’s older than Mayfield itself. But it’s not listed. The planners say they don’t need permission to demolish it as it’s not listed.
“However, don’t the community have any say in that?”
The local community has been following the proposals at the old building for many years now, and hope that the current plans are rejected.
Robert said: “Forth Tay applied for 19 flats. That was knocked back. But they have come back again for 16 flats.
“We have made councillors well aware that the community don’t want to see this building demolished.
“We are worried that it could go through without approval from the planning committee.
“I know we need houses but this is a step too far.
“We have been fighting this for over a year. We had a meeting last Wednesday and we are vehemently against it. We want to save the building for the community.
“This isn’t an old community so any history we have is so important. The councillors knows our feelings and I reckon the committee will call it in. But I don’t know that for sure. We will have to wait and see.
“So we want to keep pressure on the council to not put it through.”
Mr Hogg and the local community are still hopeful that a bid by Iris Harvey to save the building is successful.
He said: “She wants the upper floor as a house. And the ground floor as a community building. She has local connections so she wants to keep the historic building for the community.
“She has been granted permission but the owner has a legal agreement with these developers. He can only get out of it if they get refused permission again.
“The community has never wanted flats to be built there because its an iconic building in the community.”
Oliver Chapman Architects, the agent acting for Forth Tay, declined the opportunity to comment when contacted by the Advertiser.