Development “out of scale and out of character”

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St Andrews Community Council, along with local residents, is objecting to plans for two luxury homes complete with an underground pool, garage and gym, on the grounds that the design would be out of character with the area. Residents also object to the “aggressive use of bronze cladding” to be used on the front elevation of the new building.

Plans have been submitted which would involve the existing St Regulus Cottage in St Gregory’s Place, facing the sea, to be demolished.

One luxury home would have three bedrooms and one guest room alongside an underground swimming pool, sauna and gym area. It would also have a roof terrace. Three car parking spaces would also be created, accessed by a car lift, in the basement area. The other would have two bedrooms, but those living in this property would not have access to the pool or underground garage.

The planning application states that the proposals respect the local setting, which falls within the St Andrews Conservation area. It states: “It proposes a contemporary building that works with its immediate setting to East Scores and Gregory Place and interprets the form and scale and proportions of the close townscape.

The application continues: “The courtyard garden context is respected both at plot and block level” and while contemporary, the buildings would be “sympathetic in scale, form and material to its historical context”.

Objecting to the plan on behalf of Community Council, Greg Newman said the frontage of the luxury homes would be out of scale with the surrounding area. “The design of the proposed frontage is striking and might well work well on an isolated clifftop. Here, in the middle of a row of houses, it is out of scale with the rest of the row,” he said.

Mr Newman also raised objections to the underground garage, saying it could pose road safety risk due to the current road layout. The planning application proposes a garage from which a car emerges at right angles to the road. It is proposed that cars reverse out from the garage. Even if the car had been backed into the garage so that it could exit forwards, the visibility of passing pedestrians would be negligible.

“In addition, the car must avoid the line of cars parked along the road and turn through ninety degrees within the width of the street. The inconvenience to residents living further along the cul-de-sac and the dangers to pedestrians and the ancient priory wall are significant.”

Concerns were also raised about the excavation of the site, as well as how the spoil from the excavation will be taken off-site. The long disruption caused to the lives of the sheltered housing residents of Kirk Hill and to the picture framer’s business next to the proposed development both from dust and from the blocking of access to the properties by construction traffic is “unacceptable,” Mr Newman added.

Local resident Chris Main, whose property is only a few feet from the cottage, said the work would make his home “uninhabitable” while it was carried out. This kind of work will take well over a year and the plant and equipment will go right outside my window on the cliffs,” he said.

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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