Student accommodation plans approved

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At the recent meeting of Fife Council’s NE Planning Committee, the university’s plans to create 148 new bedrooms on a site on the North Haugh known as ‘Gap Site 3’ were approved. The site is between Andrew Melville Hall and Agnes Blackadder Hall. The building will be made up of three individual ‘fingers’ between three and four storeys in height, which will be connected by glazed circulation spaces.

The university currently provides 4,100 beds which represents approximately 39% of beds for the current student population of 10,400 students. However, the University recognises that student requirements for accommodation puts huge pressure on the privatehousing market in St Andrews.

Accordingly, the university has embarked on a £100m programme to provide an extra 1,000 spaces during, with the ‘Gap Site 3’ proposals contributing to that target along with other projects including the redevelopment of the Albany Park site.

Benjamin Stuart, residential and business services director at St Andrews University, said the extra beds are required to “contain growth” and keep housing pressure away from an “already saturated private market.”

“The University of St Andrews is acutely aware of the increasing pressures on St Andrews from the accommodation demands of our students,” he said. We are also seeing increasingly high demands from students in terms of the quality and configuration of university provided accommodation.

“The university currently provides around 4,100 bed spaces, which, when compared to other university locations, this represents a high proportion of university provided bed spaces when compared to the overall student population. This, however, requires to be considered in the context of the constrained housing market in St Andrews and pressures from the local community and tourism markets, especially in terms of HMO properties, meaning that available accommodation is at a premium.

“It is for these reasons that the university is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of student accommodation across its estate and Gap Site 3 located at the North Haugh, is a key component of this strategy.

“The strategy to deliver more bed spaces is a testament to the University’s ongoing commitment to continue to deliver an outstanding experience that students and graduates cherish, and furthermore demonstrates the effectiveness of the close partnership between staff and student leaders, in tackling the community’s biggest challenges.”

As well as 148 rooms, the new building will include shared kitchen/living spaces, group study rooms, offices, a warden studio flat and a number of service rooms.

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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