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St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Golf scheme developers call for inquiry

The Courier, 4 May 1999

Developers behind the controversial £50 million golf, hotel and leisure project at Kingask, near St Andrews, have asked the Scottish Office to hold a public inquiry before the matter is finally decided.

The request has been made as part of the appeal lodged by St Andrews Bay Development Ltd against Fife Council’s rejection of proposals for a coastal site just to the west of the town.

Councillors narrowly rejected the proposals - in the process ignoring the recommendation of their planning officials - after strong concern was expressed about the size and scale of the project, the potential traffic implications for the already congested St Andrews town centre, and the impact on an area of great landscape value.

The refusal of consent was followed by a period of sniping among councillors. There was also outrage in North East Fife when a leading administration member asked if the vote for rejection of the scheme had been pre-arranged by members of the committee.

Although St Andrews Bay Development Ltd have subsequently submitted a further, more detailed application for the site, they have also lodged an appeal with the Scottish Office.

In their grounds of appeal, the applicants said it was a matter of considerable concern to them that the committee chairman had insisted that planning permission was limited to a hotel not exceeding 50 bedrooms. Some consultees had also responded similarly, said the appellants.

It has also been claimed that the development does not conflict with the statutory approved development plan, and that the development details which had been considered by the planning committee had the support of officials and had arisen from a process of lengthy discussion and adjustment.

The appellants have also refused to accept that there will be a detrimental impact on the area of great landscape value, stating that the development has been carefully designed, and is in fact the optimum solution.

The claimed effect on the landscape setting of St Andrews has also been disputed.

On traffic, the developers have claimed that there would not be the adverse effects stated, and also that the refusal on traffic grounds was contrary to the recommendation from technical officers of the council.

No date has yet been set for the planning appeal, and the situation is complicated by the further and more detailed Kingask application currently with Fife Council.

This is be decided along with two other applications for land at Feddinch and Scooniehill at a special meeting of Fife Council’s strategic development committee. This meeting will be arranged once the authority has completed a 'strategic overview' on golf courses and associated developments, and has completed the consultations on all three applications.

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