Plans for 35 retirement caravans for the over 50’s on the edge of St Andrews, adjacent to Cameron Reservoir, have been rejected.
Stewart’s Resort already operates three other facilities, one in Perthshire and two in Angus, said the development would support the business financially during the winter months.
Stewart’s already has planning permission to extend the park. These include a leisure development with a cafe and restaurant, a visitor centre and craft workshops. The consent also includes 15 houses, which would have been replaced by the caravans.
However, members of the North East Panning Committee unanimously refused permission for the residential retirement caravans because the potential increase in traffic generated by the development and because the rural location meant the lodges were not sustainable.
Fife Council planning officials recommended the new application should be approved on the grounds that it was in accordance with the local plan and that the site had been identified as suitable for permanent residential accommodation. They noted that no statutory bodies had raised any significant issues with the proposal.
There were 13 letters of support claiming that the development would help elderly people and support local businesses. However, 14 letters of objection were also received, including one from Cameron Community Council, with concerns over the development of farmland and fears for road safety because the entrance is on the A915, the main road into St Andrews.
St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said: “We had planning permission for much-needed affordable houses for people who work in the countryside.”
“Now we’re talking about retirement accommodation with a significant increase on the previous application. People there will be in and out all day and there will be more need for local services. This is an unsustainable location.”
Problems with drainage and a lack of buses to and from the site were also cited as reasons for rejecting the application.