Councillors throw out St Andrews “carbuncle” housing development

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A modern housing development consisting of three and four-storey houses overlooking the Old Course has been rejected by the NE Fife Area Committee in spite of Fife Council officials’ recommendation that the application be approved. Councillors claimed that the development would be totally out of keeping with the surrounding traditional buildings

The application provoked a mixed response in the town.

There were 38 letters of objection, including one from the Community Council which said the proposed buildings were not typical of St Andrews nor of the Conservation Area in which they would be located.

Supporters included St Andrews Preservation Trust, which stated that the design of homes was inspirational

The Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) and the Council’s own Flooding, Shoreline and Harbours Service objected on the grounds the homes would increase the risk of flooding in the area, although planning officers said it would not have a significant effect.

Members of NE Fife Area Committee Unanimously rejected the application on the grounds of both its design and the perceived flood risk.

Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski branded the proposal “literally quite shocking  – it would be right next to the Swilcan Bridge and I do have a concern that it really does not fit in with the kind of buildings around it,” he said.

He added that if the development were built the reaction of many people would be: “What kind of numpties approved that? This would have a detrimental impact on an iconic site which people expect to be sitting in an appropriate architectural environment, not overlooking a millionaire’s palace,” he said.

SNP councillor David McDiarmid thought the modern houses would jar with the neighbouring red sandstone buildings.“It looks to me like another carbuncle,” he said. “It’s virtually on the Old Course. It’s like building on Culloden.”

Many councillors expressed fears over the flood risk, with Liberal Democrat Jane Ann Liston stating “It does not seem to be a clever place to be building houses at all, while Labour councillor Brian Thomson added that the risk made approval “inconceivable”.

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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