St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Anger over St Andrews golf plan moves
The Courier, 30 March 1999
Councillors yesterday narrowly decided to approve a
recommendation that major golf and leisure developments planned for the St
Andrews area should be decided by a central Fife Council committee.
The 11-9 decision by members of the authoritys
strategic development committee immediately ran into an angry response from
local groups who are furious at the administrations handling of the
matter [see further coverage here].
It was last night pointed out that the ruling Labour
administration had no representation whatsoever in North East Fife, and it was
also claimed that assurances from officials over decentralisation had been
The issue came before members of the strategic development
committee, who decided that the highly controversial new application for
Kingask - already thrown out in a similar form locally - should be
considered along with the £18 million Scooniehill development and another
relating to land at Feddinch.
Until now the Feddinch application has been only talked
about, but it has been revealed that plans have just been been lodged with Fife
Council for a development by Michael A. Johnston, the man behind the new hotel
complex at Carnoustie.
In recent months there have been calls for an overview of
the whole subject of pressure from developers for such projects, and these
calls were repeated following the recent refusal of the Kingask plans by
the east area development committee. This matter is now under appeal.
A previous attempt to have the Kingask application
called in to the centre of the council was rejected in what was at the time
described as a test for the councils declared policy of
In his report before the members Mr David Rae, head of
planning, said Fife Council had responsibility for both strategic and local
In the case of St Andrews there was a strategic interest
because there were multiple planning applications.
He added, The fact that we have three planning
applications suggests to me we have to form a judgment in terms of what is best
in the interests of Fife, St Andrews and the east Fife area."
Mr Rae pointed out, I believe that although the three
applications fall within the one area of Fife, they have implications beyond
that that area.
Referring to his acceptance that decentralisation to local
committees was working successfully in planning matters; Mr Rae said that less
than one per cent of applications were ever determined by this committee,
and that is the way it should be.
Councillor Peter Douglas accepted that a huge amount of
money was involved, and also a huge amount of potential traffic as well as
But our roads infrastructure is not very good, and St
Andrews is in danger of coming to a standstill because of traffic, and this is
before any of these applications come into being. The traffic situation
concerns me very much.
Councillor Douglas conceded, Its a complex
issue and this committees job is to make policy and strategic decisions
but it's the local committee who should decide at the end of the day how the
matter should he decided.
Councillor Tony Martin agreed that there needed to be a
strategic overview but local people that are elected in the area should
be able to determine decisions for the area.
He moved that Fife Council should carry out a strategic
overview on golf-related developments and produce a policy on golf; and that
area development committees be advised of the policy in enabling them to
continue to determine decisions locally.
This was seconded by Councillor James Braid.
However, Mr Raes recommendations, moved as an
amendment by Councillor Helen Eadie, seconded by Councillor Bill Brand, won by
11 votes to 9.
They suggested that the applications for golf-related
development in St Andrews be referred to the strategic development committee
Also, development plan hearings should be arranged as
necessary; and if necessary arrangements should be made for a special meeting
of the committee to consider and determine these applications.
And the east area development committee should be advised
of the procedures to be adopted, and invited to give a view on each of the
proposals. more Planning Phase
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