St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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MSP makes new plea over golf plans
The Courier, 1 July 1999
North-East Fife MSP lain Smith has made a fresh call to the
Scottish Office for the calling in of major golf and leisure
planning applications relating to St Andrews.
The move has been made in the wake of Mr Smith receiving a
disappointing response to a letter about the issue which was sent
to the Scottish Secretary.
Concern has been expressed over the likely impact on the
town centre and surrounding landscape. The way the proposals have been handled
by Fife Council has also been called into question.
With Donald Dewar now taking over the responsibility of
First Minister for Scotland, objectors who have asked for the applications to
be dealt with by way of a public inquiry are pinning their hopes on him.
St Andrews Preservation Trust and St Andrews Community
Council - the latter with the backing of a wide range of national conservation
bodies - have already pressed the case for a call-in.
Yesterday, Mr Smith, who had also written to the Scottish
Office, said it had been indicated by the departing Westminster Minister Callum
Mac Donald that he would not call in the applications.
The reply from Callum MacDonald was very
disappointing, and I have written to Donald Dewar to tell him that the east
area committee of Fife Council has rejected the applications for a second
I hope he will use his powers to look again at this
Local people are angry about the way in which Fife
Council is handling this matter.
The applications are very large and put the green
belt under threat.
In his letter to Mr Dewar, the MSP said that councillors in
east Fife who had recommended rejection of the plans had a detailed knowledge
of the area, its history, heritage, needs and economy.
I am sorry to report that despite the double
rejection it seems that Fife Council is determined to make the final decision
of the applications centrally.
There is widespread concern in the local community
that the decision-making process in Fife Council is not being used properly to
serve the needs of the local community, and I hope you will be able to rethink
There are now just two applications in the running, one of
them the £50 million Kingask scheme, which has gained backing from
Fife Council officials but which has also attracted strong objections from
national conservation bodies.
The other is an £18m plan for Scooniehill, which has
not found favour with officials, and has been recommended for refusal by
members of the east area committee.
Final decisions are due to be made by members of the
councils central strategic development committee next week, although it
is expected that the Kingask plans will be approved. more Planning Phase
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