St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Fresh concerns over golf plans
Gordon Berry, The Courier, 16 April 1999
Substantial hotel and leisure developments around St Andrews
could pre-empt both the structural plan review and proposals for the setting up
of a designated green belt.
This was claimed yesterday by North East Fife MP Menzies
Campbell as he re-entered the furious debate raging in north-east Fife over a
series of major planning applications.
Since the first ripples appeared, with the submission of
plans for an extensive 208-bedroom hotel and conference facility at
Kingask, there has been an application or land at Scooniehill, and yet
another for a huge development at Feddinch. All three applications also include
provision of golf courses.
Fife Council has controversially decided to take the final
decision out of the hands of locally-elected councillors. This move might yet
be challenged - at least in the case of Kingask - in an approach to the
Scottish Secretary by local bodies.
Mr Campbell has already drawn attention to his fear that
the St Andrews area could turned into a gigantic theme park, and
yesterday he revealed he had again written to Fife Councils outgoing
chief executive Dr John Markland.
Dr Marklands top officials have infuriated groups in
St Andrews by strongly backing the Kingask proposals in the run-up to
their rejection by councillors in north-east Fife.
Ironically, he will soon be taking up the position of
chairman of one of the main objectors to Kingask, conservation body
Scottish Natural Heritage.
In his letter, Mr Campbell questioned the wisdom of the
call-in decisions, saying no strategic consideration of any application could
take place without it being placed in a proper strategic context.
He went on to suggest one possible outcome if one or more
of the applications was approved - the case for a relief road being accepted
due to actual, or potential, traffic generation.
If developers offered such a road as an inducement in the
form of planning gain, or if the council was persuaded to make the
necessary investment, he said, then the delineation of the green belt would be
dictated not by objective considerations, but as a consequence of the granting
of planning permission.
This would be what is known as planning by
permission, which the structure plan was designed to eliminate, he
adds. more Planning Phase
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