Government Planning Reporter Mike Shiel has dismissed the appeal and refused planning permission for a care home at 92 Hepburn Gardens. The appeal was made by CAF Properties, who had their application turned down by the North East Planning Committee earlier this year. The Committee had ignored the recommendation by the Planning Officer for approval and turned down the application by eight votes to three. Objections to the development were received from some 43 individuals, households and organisations (including the St Andrews Community Council, the Hepburn Gardens Area Residents Association, the Confederation of St Andrews Residents Associations, the St Andrews Preservation Trust and the Lorimer Society).
A neighbouring property “Wayside” had been designed in the Arts and Craft style by Sir Robert Lorimer and the house at 92 Hepburn Gardens , “The White House” subject of the planning proposal, is also a noted example of the Arts and Crafts movement. It is currently being assessed for listing by Historic Environment Scotland.
The reporter in his decision notice said:
“Overall, I consider that the failures to comply with policy – in relation to the scale and form of the development, its impact on the amenity of neighbouring residents, and its adverse effect on the character of the conservation area – are sufficient to outweigh the aspects where it does comply. I therefore conclude that the proposal is not in accordance with the provisions of the development plan.”
He found no mitigating factors sufficiently influential to support approval of the application. It is understood that the application, although made by a property developer, was being proposed as a replacement for Gibson House residential home for the elderly.