St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Kingask plans draw new attack
Gordon Berry, The Courier, 12 April 1999
A national conservation body has lodged further strong
objections to the scale and nature of plans for a £50 million development
at Kingask, near St Andrews, reinforcing its earlier claim that there
could be creation of a new settlement in the countryside.
It has also been stated by Scottish Natural Heritage that
the proposals, which envisage a 208-bedroom hotel and large conference centre,
along with two uncontroversial golf courses, are so fundamentally different
from the original outline consent that they should not even be considered as
having permission in principle.
The new application covers all phases of the development,
and differs from the plans already rejected by Fife Council in that there is
now inclusion of redevelopment of the steading which was the subject of the
original outline consent.
Also included is creation of a golf clubhouse, and parking
throughout the entire site for more than 300 vehicles.
There has already been controversy over the objection from
Scottish Natural Heritage, since it appeared to have been overlooked by council
officials with the result that its full extent was not made known to
councillors until the day of the previous decision-making process at the east
area development committee.
Further objections have already been made by St Andrews
Community Council, St Andrews Preservation Trust and the Architectural Heritage
Society of Scotland, all referring to size and scale.
In its latest letter Scottish Natural Heritage has said
that the application seeks to introduce a large new development away from the
original farm steading and cluster of buildings, and into open countryside.
Having assessed the current plans, said the letter, SNH was
of the view that there would be loss of character of a landscape which the body
has previously described as being one of the least altered in Fife.
There would also be, it said, adverse impact on the
landscape setting of St Andrews, and erosion of the quality associated with an
area of great landscape value and proximity of such development to the
The body also commented on the fact that a key element
would be the creation of a new woodland setting for the hotel.
It was considered that this would create a designed
and predominantly formal situation in an otherwise simple, open
agricultural area, and was not appropriate.
There is also a clear difference in the approach taken to
coastal planning by SNH and officials of Fife Council, who have previously
SNH highlighted national planning guidance which states
that many developments which assist the long-term viability of coastal
communities are likely to be on a modest scale, and that ill-considered
development can have a detrimental effect on ecology and scenery.
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