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St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Plan's rejection a 'historic decision'

The Courier, 11 February 1999

The rejection of £50 million plans for a new hotel, conference, leisure and golf development at Kingask, near St Andrews, was described yesterday as a “historic decision” for the town.

The comment came from prospective Conservative MSP for North East Fife, Ted Brocklebank, who said that the real implications, of the decision made by members of Fife Council’s East Area development committee on Tuesday went well beyond Kingask alone.

Mr Brocklebank said that a message had now been sent to every other speculative developer that St Andrews was not up for grabs.

He added that, as residents would discover in the weeks ahead, there were a number of major proposals in the pipeline for the town, some of which could be of benefit and others which could seriously damage the unique landscape setting.

“Prospective developers must learn that they need St Andrews far more than St Andrews needs them.

“We the people who live and work here are in a position to shape the way this unique and ancient town develops.

“We are the custodians of a remarkable heritage in St Andrews and should make our views crystal clear about the kind of town we want to leave for our children and grandchildren,” he said.

Fresh calls have now been made for an overview, which will examine the implications of all potential hotel, golf and leisure developments around the town.

The issue was raised yesterday by St Andrews councillor Frances Melville.

At the moment, one substantial application is in the planning system for a site at Scooniehill, the Kingask site already enjoys outline consent for a hotel and golf courses, and it is strongly rumoured that a very large project will soon be announced for land at Feddinch.

Land near Lumbo, and close to the existing St Andrews links, is also the target for golf courses.

The applications have come at a time when a strategic study, which is a blue print for the shape of development, has just been agreed.

This came shortly after a transportation plan, was also adopted by Fife Council, to protect and enhance the medieval town centre.

Both studies involved several years of work.

But they are already under pressure due to the rate and scale of developments being put forward.

The Kingask scheme was rejected in the face of serious concern over traffic issues, and the size and scale of the development proposed.

It far exceeded the terms of the original - and still existing - outline consent for the site.

Yesterday, Councillor Melville said that East Area councillors, local bodies, and transportation and planning officials should get round a table to come up with some form of agreement about what would be acceptable.

“No one is saying that development should not take place, and indeed the strategic study allows for limited development of the town itself.

“In the light of what has been lodged, and what is perhaps waiting out in the wings, we need a sensible and realistic way to look forward.

“People seem to forget that the strategic study was asked for by the Secretary of State because he recognised the immense pressure for developers in and around St Andrews.

“The exercise was only concluded in November.

“It looked at the environment, tourism, landscape, and it is all to do with sustainability and what the town can cope with.

“An overview really has to be called for here, or we will end up going down the same Kingask route again.”

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