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St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
Issues raised during turbulent planning phase
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Traffic concerns as golfing plans prepare for go-ahead

The Courier, 3 July 1999

A Fife councillor has raised questions over the St Andrews traffic impact study which is being relied on by Fife Council officials as one of the reasons for backing plans for a major golf and leisure development at Kingask.

East Neuk member Elizabeth Riches, one of a number of councillors who expressed concern about traffic matters at this week’s East Area development committee meeting, said that from her observations it was “very worrying” that emphasis was being placed on some statements made.

Mrs Riches said her concern had been prompted by her own experience of how statistics were obtained at one of the junctions used for information gathering - the City Road/North Street location.

She said she had watched young people sitting in a car “with their feet on the dashboard and having a good, jokey time” as they went about their work.

While the people involved were no doubt glad of the work and money, she said, her confidence had not been raised and she felt that what she had observed did not appear to be professional.

A strong defence of the consultants’ study was made by the council’s head of planning, David Rae, who said that the work seen by Mrs Riches was only part of the commission.

He said the firm involved was well respected in its field and the advice it had given was largely responsible for comments he had made in his report.

He also made it clear in one of his reports to the committee that the conclusions of the consultants, while primarily concerned with traffic impacts in St Andrews, would also help to inform the approach to dealing with similar development pressures elsewhere in Fife.

“It is clear from the consultants’ advice that the very real concerns expressed by a large number of individuals and organisations regarding traffic impact on St Andrews, and in particular the key junctions in St Andrews, are overstated,” he claimed.

Mr Rae also said the consultants had carried out assessment work in relation to the green travel plans in the proposals for St Andrews.

The consultants, he said, “appeared to be satisfied” that the green plan was a legitimate tool to use in managing and restricting traffic generation and flows.

In the case of Kingask, the plan intends to impose tight control of traffic movement in and out of the site during the construction and operation phases.

It is part of a Section 75 legal agreement which has been drawn up in meticulous detail with the Kingask developers in advance of next week’s meeting of the central strategic development committee, when a decision will be made on the planning application.

Mr Rae is to recommend approval of the £50 million Kingask plans, and refusal of an £18 million development at Scooniehill.

The third project due to be considered next week was for a large development by Dundee-based developer Michael Johnston at Feddinch, but this application has now been withdrawn.

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