St Andrews Councillor Brian Thomson has called for Madras College’s Kilrymont Rd building to be demolished to make way for affordable housing when pupils move to the new building currently under construction at Langlands.
Speaking at a meeting of the Community Council earlier this month he said: “I’ve stated on a number of occasions that the Kilrymont Road site is ideal for housing, particularly much needed affordable housing, but the listing of the building makes the redevelopment of the site far from straightforward. In order for listed building consent to be secured to demolish the buildings, the site would have to be marketed to potential purchasers for at least six months, but Historic Environment Scotland could insist that a longer period may be appropriate, and there’s no defined maximum period. As such, after the new school is completed – hopefully be the summer of 2021 – there is every likelihood that the buildings could be lying empty for a significant period of time, which would entail the Council having to apply appropriate measures to secure the buildings from potential vandalism’.
‘Redeveloping the existing buildings for affordable housing is completely unfeasible, given the extent of the refurbishment works that would be required and the cost parameters that affordable housing has to be delivered within, however, it’s not unrealistic that site could be attractive to developers of, for example, hotels or private student accommodation’.
‘My fellow St Andrews councillors and I were advised at a recent meeting that a development brief for the site – setting out what uses of the buildings and the wider site would be acceptable in planning terms – is being prepared, and it was good to be advised that it’s intended to begin marketing the site fairly soon. Whilst there doesn’t appear to be any way of avoiding a marketing exercise, I do hope that, if it became clear that no viable proposals were coming forward, Historic Environment Scotland would take a pragmatic approach and consider what’s best for the local community, namely the delivery of much needed new build affordable housing.”