The University of St Andrews has (17 July 2020) submitted revised plans to provide 748 student beds at Albany Park. This is the second re-submission following rejection by planners in July 2019 and criticism of the first re-submission later that year by neighbours, local stakeholders and organisations.
St Andrews University Communications Office has released the following statement:
The purpose of the development is relieve pressure on local housing stock in St Andrews, where there is a shortage of suitable purpose-built and affordable student accommodation. Half of the student beds at Albany Park will be affordable accommodation.
The proposed development is the centrepiece of a £100 million investment in student accommodation by the University which will create 1000 new bedrooms over and above the 4000 which the University already provides. The University strategy sets out a commitment to reducing its impact on the town, through the provision of purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) which is operated and managed by the University.
The Albany development is a collaboration between the University and global student accommodation provider Campus Living Villages. The development forms part of a strategic partnership where CLV fund the scheme over a 50-year period. Since the submission of the planning application in October 2019, the design team have reviewed the plans in response to feedback from consultees, internal and external to Fife Council, as well as members of the public and local stakeholder groups.
The proposals as now presented represent significant, positive changes in response to the feedback received including:
- A reduction in the overall number of student beds proposed, from 900 in October 2019 to 748, nearly 20% reduction.
- Reducing the scale, height and mass of buildings and on some, dropping by one floor.
- Significant changes to the design of the buildings, introducing more pitched roof details and additional gables added, reflecting the prominent St Andrews historic architecture.
- By reducing bed numbers more space has been given to landscaping and the creation of the historic Woodburn Square which dates back some hundred years since first formed.
Ben Stuart, the University’s Director of Residential and Business Services, said: “The development at Albany Park is central to the University’s strategy to provide more student accommodation for our students and ease the pressure on the housing stock in St Andrews. The new Albany Park will provide around 750 high-quality student beds in an attractive landscaped environment and has the potential to revitalise the eastern area of St Andrews.”
St Andrews Student Association President Dan Marshall said: “Any increase in the provision of affordable purpose-built student accommodation is good for students and is good for St Andrews as a whole. I look forward to working with the University to make sure that this new accommodation meets student needs when it comes to affordability and helps relieve pressure on the St Andrews housing market.”
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Note: The revised plans were submitted on July 17th but, as of 20th July, they were not available on the Fife eplanning portal. Reference: 19/03013/FULL.