To the Editor
In December you provided valuable coverage of the new housing development in St Andrews West which showed that the developer is well aware of the environmental and climate implications of new housing and were taking these into account.
They point out in their transport assessment that a high priority is given in transport planning to sustainable travel, meaning public transport, walking and cycling and they anticipate that there will be very good public transport links with the centre of town, which is after all within 15 minutes cycling distance. Given the urgency of the climate crisis and the need to urgently reduce the level of motor car travel, these points are very desirable.
Hence in reading about the guidance for car parking spaces being used by the developers, we in St Andrews Space for Cycling were very disappointed that 2018 Fife Council guidelines were being used with no mention of the Scottish Government’s statements on the need to reduce carbon emissions from transport in line with COP 26 commitments.
These guidelines allocate on car parking space for single bedroom properties and 2 spaces for 2-3 bedroom properties.
Yet it is clear as we stated in our attached submission that motor traffic has to be reduced dramatically by 8-10% a year if we are to meet the target of 50% reduction by 2030.
However in the planning application the above guidance is followed so that the whole development will provide 186 car parking spaces for 96 housing units. This allocation is surely grossly excessive in a town like St Andrews where nowhere is further than 30 minutes walking or 15 mins cycling.
We urge the council to insist that the allocation be reduced to one space per residential unit, i.e. a total of 96 spaces. At a time when many city housing developments are aiming to be zero car, even this seems like a lot. We hope that Fife Council will see sense and put the climate first in considering this and future applications.
Chair, St Andrews Space for Cycling