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St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Trust repeats its objections to Kingask plan

The Courier, 22 June 1999

The Scottish Civic Trust has repeated its strong objection to plans for a £50 million golf, hotel and leisure development being proposed for a site at Kingask, near St Andrews.

The Trust, along with a range of other national conservation bodies, has lodged further objections with Fife Council over the proposal, and has stated that there could be a “dangerous precedent” for permitting in-fill development along the coast from St Andrews.

Controversy is currently raging over three separate proposals for land around the historical home of golf and only a last week a special meeting, aimed at allowing developers and objectors to put their views forward, ended in recrimination and debate over lack of information about one of the schemes.

There have also been strong calls from both St Andrews Community Council, and the St Andrews Preservation Trust, for all of the applications to be called directly into the Scottish Office and subjected to the scrutiny of a public inquiry.

The pleas for a call-in have accompanied criticism over a move by Fife Council’s administration to take the decision making process out of the hands of local councillors, and over the way the entire issue has been handled by the authority.

In respect of the Kingask plan - which has attracted 226 objections and only 43 letters of support - the Scottish Civic Trust has told council planners that only a much smaller scale ancillary development of one or two storeys should be considered in “such a prominent and sensitive location”.

Writing to the council’s east area planning manager Jim Birrell, Trust official Leigh Anderson said that revised plans submitted following the previous refusal of the Kingask proposals had now been inspected.

“We believe little attempt has been made within this new submission to alleviate concerns raised by the council and the various objectors.

“We reiterate that we understand previous outline consent has been granted for a hotel development with associated golf courses. However the revised proposal still represents a considerable increase in the size and scale of development proposed compared to previous intentions.”

The trust has made it clear that it believes that the location and massing of the hotel and associated units will have a significant adverse effect on the immediate landscape character of a designated Area of Great Landscape Value.

Over-development, it is claimed, will have a huge impact on the exposed site, and there is no justification for allowing development on such a visible part of the coastal fringe of St Andrews.

Concern has also been expressed by the Trust over parking and traffic implications for the infrastructure of St Andrews itself.

The Trust has also submitted fresh objections to the plans from St Andrews International Golf Club Ltd., for land at Scooniehill to. the south of the town.

New information provided, said the body, was not sufficient to address the original concerns, no justification had been provided for the demolition of existing farm buildings, and there was still “no attempt” to integrate these buildings into the development.

A Trust spokesman said yesterday that due to a lack of available information the body has as yet made no comment on the proposals for the third development site, at Feddinch.

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