Population of Guardbridge will soar as new homes approved

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Approval of the construction of a some 335 houses and flats on two fields on the western edge of the village, between the A91 and Seggie Farm, has been approved by Fife Council’s North East Planning Committee.

The estate, to be built by Persimmon Homes North Scotland, will include 100 affordable homes and include wheelchair-accessible and specific needs homes.

Supporting the application, Tay Bridgehead councillor Tim Brett said: “This is a large housing development and I think it’s going to make a huge difference to the local community. “I am sure all of us will welcome the fact that we are getting 100 affordable homes.”

The planned increase in homes will require additional capacity at the 1,450-pupil Madras College and at Guardbridge Primary School. As a condition of planning approval, the company will be required to pay for a two-classroom extension with dining and gym hall at the primary school and contribute a share of £4.5 million for an extension to the new Madras College.

The additional traffic generated by the developments will require traffic signals to be installed at the roundabout junction of the A91 and A919.

Other developments planned for Guardbridge include a £26 million expansion of St Andrews University’s Eden Campus and 60 more homes at Motray Park to be built by McHale Enterprises.

Editor’s note: Although planning approval was contingent upon Persimmon providing 100 affordable homes, its record in delivering on its commitments is patchy. In common with other major house builders, Persimmon routinely use the financial liability loophole to reduce the proportion of affordable housing in its developments, on average to 50% of its commitment at the planning stage, and so increase its profit margin.

In 2018, Persimmons chief executive, Jeff Fairbairn, was awarded a bonus of £75 million, reduced from £100 million as a result of a shareholder revolt.

Persimmon has been frequently criticised for the bland design of its houses, small rooms, poor value for money and poor workmanship. One house buyer found 80 defects in his new build £210,000 house. Of  the 753 reviews of Persimmon on Trustpilot, 55% are 1 star.

St Andrews QV (Qui Vive) is an independent not-for-profit, non-political platform for news and debates about issues that are important to the Town. It exists to hold decision makers and public services to account while its editorial policy is to accommodate all shades of opinion from all parts of the community, prioritising evidence-based arguments. St Andrews QV is a member of the Independent Community News Network and is committed to the Community Journalism Charter

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