St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Trust 'deeply concerned' over renewed golf plans
The Courier, 2 April 1999
Developers behind the £50 million Kingask
hotel, conference, golf and leisure complex have made no effort to
address the very real fears of local residents and national bodies.
This has been claimed by St Andrews Preservation Trust in
their objection to renewed plans from St Andrews Bay Development Ltd for the
extensive project just outside the town.
Members of Fife Councils east area development
committee have already turned down one set of plans for a 208 bedroom hotel and
However, the applicants have appealed to the Secretary of
State, and have at the same time submitted a more detailed application covering
This includes redevelopment of the steading which was the
subject of original outline planning consent, provision of a golf clubhouse,
and parking for over 300 vehicles.
The application has been subject to a period of
consultation which ends this weekend, and the preservation trusts
planning convener, Elizabeth Williams, has just submitted a fully detailed
She has concluded that in resubmitting their application
virtually unaltered, the applicants had overlooked the opportunity given to
them to improve the location of the hotel and clubhouse.
She added that they had shown scant regard for
the arguments and reasons from the public, experts, and local councillors.
On the economic front, St Andrews has a thriving
tourist industry which, to judge by occupancy and employment figures, may
already be at saturation point.
Large-scale investment, however attractive at first
sight, should not be accepted when it is obviously inappropriate in the
proposed setting and location.
St Andrews Preservation Trust remains deeply
concerned that all arguments of a social and economic nature have been skewed
to suggest possible benefits to the local community and economy.
We submit that the picture might not be as simple as
the applicants suggest.
Mrs Williams went on to respectfully remind
members of Fife Council that they had a duty to consider the long term and
heritage aspects of all cases.
This must be particularly relevant in the case of St
Andrews, a hitherto unspoiled historic town whose landscape setting is crucial
to its character.
The application, she said, merited refusal even more than
its predecessor, since it was even larger, and had addressed none of the
grounds for refusal put forward.
The objection covers a wide range of topics, such as
violation of local plan policies, tourism impact, location of the buildings on
site, traffic impact and economic impact.
On the issue of traffic, which was a crucial factor in the
refusal of the application a few weeks ago, Mrs Williams said that the issues
had still not been realistically addressed.
She said there was no acceptable way of by-passing St
Andrews, and that the element of compulsion in the green travel
plan would clearly be unrealistic in practice.
In addition, she said, the provision of over 300 parking
spaces was a clear indication of the number, of vehicles expected at the
On economic impact, she said there was a question mark over
the provision of satisfactory full-time employment.
Jobs available to local people, she said, would be
unskilled, with managerial and specialist staff brought in, and it was clear
from the local job centre that existing hotels and guest houses already had
difficulty in finding this kind of staff.
There would also be a knock-on effect for hotels and guest
houses in the town, she said, and tourism had to be managed in a sustainable
way. more Planning Phase
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