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St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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New Kingask proposals come under fire

The Courier, 24 March 1999

The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland has described the latest plans from the company behind the proposed £50 million complex at Kingask, near St Andrews, as tantamount to “rearranging the deckchairs as the Titanic sinks.”

The comment was made by the society’s Tayside and Fife secretary, Glen Pride, as the consultation process on the controversial plans continues.

There was an exchange of comments between the groups last week as the society renewed its objections, and the firm’s operations director Iain Mackinnon described some of Mr Pride’s remarks as “spurious and pejorative.”

Mr Mackinnon said that the new planning application included a number of substantial changes from the original design, each of which was designed to address the concerns of the East Area development committee.

The new application covers not only the hotel and conference facilities, but redevelopment of the steadings area for spa and leisure facilities and creation of a new clubhouse. Parking for over 300 vehicles is included in the plans.

Yesterday Mr Pride maintained his view that the new application, which covers every phase of the development, failed to address the reasons for refusal.

He said it had been made quite clear by the applicants that they would not reduce the size of the development and they had again only resorted to minor adjustments and relocations.

It had to be emphasised, he said, that the original consent was not a licence to construct any building which happened to fall within the stated categories.

Mr Pride also took issue with comments made by Mr Mackinnon about the size of the proposed golf clubhouse, saying there was “no doubt” that it was on three levels, with drawings showing the top storey occupied by four suites with balconies.

Although it appeared that these suites were not residential flats, but office accommodation, this still did not justify the enormity of the building.

The first reason put forward for refusal covered visual amenity and detrimental effect on an area of great landscape value by virtue of the size, scale and location of the development and the second covered landscape amenity and protection of the environment.

The third and final reason related to road safety and residential amenity resulting from significant additional movements of construction vehicles, sewerage tankers and other vehicles through the town.

In addition, said the committee, this would add to traffic congestion, cause unacceptable queuing, result in an adverse impact on key junctions and lead to significant additional traffic using the residential Lamond Drive area.

The developers have claimed that traffic fears have been, and still are, exaggerated and distorted and that the nature of the development, together with traffic measures, can provide solutions to improve traffic circulation.

The applicants have also put forward a traffic management scheme which would involve a special fleet of vehicles in airport and rail drop-offs and collections and ferrying large numbers of clients to St Andrews and the surrounding area.

An offer of funding to carry out various improvements in St Andrews has also been made by the applicants.

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