Residents’ Association Slams Planning Application for St Andrews Bar

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Molly Malones is located in the basement of a residential building at 5 Alexandra Place, at its junction with Market St.

According to a local residents’ association, there are serious flaws and unresolved safety issues in a planning application to create an outdoor drinking area at Molly Malones Bar to be considered at Wednesday’s NE Planning Committee.

David Middleton, Chair of the Confederation of St Andrews Residents Association has issued the following statement:

Impact on  Residential Amenity

The proximity of the residential flats immediately above the proposed basement outdoor drinking area is apparent from the photograph of the Alexandra Place Buildings. The serious impact to the health and welfare residents, if this application is approved, have been eloquently expressed in reprentations by residents to the planning application of people living in these flats, but remain unanswered. These adverse impacts include music, conversation noise – and cigarette smoke permeating into flats when windows are open for ventilation.  The application area may be used informally for drinking at the present time, but the extension of the floor area with a seating capacity of 46  in this confined area is clearly a  significant intensification of use.

The planning report previously suggested that a management plan terminating use of the outside area at 1am would deal with residential amenity issues. It would clearly not do so. Now even that seriously inadequate management plan has been removed from the proposed planning conditions in the updated report to committee.

Unbelievably, the planning report now states that no residential amenity concerns would arise (Paragraph 2.3.7 of planning report). It is not sufficient to say that any problems would be dealt with by the Public Protection Team  Health or Licensing Board. Residential amenity is clearly identified in National Planning Framework 4 as a planning issue which must be considered in planning decisions and Policy 10 of the Fife Plan advises that a development proposal must demonstrate that it will not cause significant detrimental visual or amenity impact to the surrounding area.

Impact on an Historical Site

The required excavation is made more critical as this area is the location, of the St Andrews “Blue Stane” a historic artefact dating back at least to 1314 (see plaque on the left) which is located within the red line of the proposed development.

Scant attention is given to the protection of this important historical artefact during the major excavation and building works required, despite the fact that National Planning Framework 4 emphasises the need to protect historical assets. There is doubt that the stone can remain in its present position during these works or indeed, safely relocated after the work is completed. It is therefore unbelievable that its threatened disturbance or damage is not covered in the planning report. This is a serious omission.

The stone, which is within the applicant’s premises, is currently afforded little respect as it is surrounded by weeds and discarded beer cans as shown in the photograph above.




Pedestrian Safety Issues

Note the pedestrian crossing in the immediate vicinity of the proposed barrel shute. Access from and to it is by a restricted width path which is only marginally over 1.1 metre in places.  The railings, which have now been  extended round the corner, are intended to deter pedestrians crossing via the  mini roundabout at this point.

It is proposed that offloaded barrels will be rolled from St Mary’s Place, on the right of the picture, along this narrow footway twice a week, and taking up to I hour on each occasion (Paragraph 2.3.6 of report). This operation would take up the full width of the footpath and effectively close it and also put pedestrians at risk.

The photograph on the left shows pedestrians exiting from the crossing immediately adjacent to the proposed barrel shute. The pedestrians shown would not be able to proceed in the opposite direction because of the obstruction caused by barrels being rolled along this confined footway.

City Road at this point has in excess of 10,000 vehicle movements a day, and pedestrians stranded on the crossing would be placed in danger from vehicles allowed to progress when the green light showed.

It is extraordinary that no road/pedestrian safety assessment accompanied this application.

Originally, 19 objections were received for this application, but  it was readvertised with changes which did not affect safety or amenity issues during the Christmas holiday period, and the 3 objections now submitted do not reflect the public level of concern about this application.

In view of the unresolved pedestrian safety, residential amenity issues, and the potential damage to an important historical artefact, this application should be refused.

22/00145/FULL: 5 ALEXANDRA PLACE, MARKET STREET, ST ANDREWS External works, including installation of new door and retaining wall

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