St Andrews Bay Development (Kingask)
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Appeal to Dewar as concern over Kingask deepens
The Courier, 7 July 1999
A firm of independent consultants appointed by Fife Council
to look at the landscape implications of major development around St Andrews
has claimed there should be changes to the £50 million golf and leisure
proposals for Kingask.
The firm, Edinburgh based David Tyldesley Associates, said
the effects of the scheme could be reduced by mitigation and changes in design,
relocation of parts of the development and scaling down buildings on the
The chairman of the east area development committee, Peter
Douglas, said these comments were in line with the views already expressed by
local councillors who had rejected a similar set of plans for reasons of size
Another councillor, St Andrews member Frances Melville,
said it beggared belief, given everything that had been said about
Kingask, that the council's head of planning, David Rae, had not
included the specific comments in his report.
The statements were highlighted as controversy over the
development continued right up to todays meeting of the councils
strategic development committee in Glenrothes, when a recommendation for
approval of the existing Kingask plans will be considered.
In a report to the committee Mr Rae has pointed out that
David Tyldesley had been appointed to ensure that landscape issues are
properly and professionally addressed.
The advice received, he said, had been taken into account
in his conclusions.
In a section of the report which deals with visual effects,
and effect on the landscape, Mr Tyldesley said the development would have a
significant adverse effect on landscape character owing to the
scale and location of the new development and too-formalised landscape
He said the extensive tree planting and ground modelling
could be reduced by a different design approach that utilised the character of
the open, sweeping coastal hills and terrace rather than attempting to change
A modified proposal could sustain and even enhance
the existing open coastal character and biodiversity of the hills and terrace
and the character of the Den.
On the subject of visual effect, Mr Tyldesley said the golf
courses themselves would have a low effect but that large-scale built
development away from the existing steading would be incongruous in the open
landscape of the coastal hills.
The development, he said, relied on extensive new planting
to avoid being very conspicuous within the site and from a few local
Mr Douglas said the comments made by the independent
consultant were in line with the earlier decision of the east area development
committee to seek a reduction in the size and scale of the Kingask
development, and to have it concentrated on the steading which is the subject
of outline consent.
He said he was having great difficulty understanding the
'selectivity' in what had been taken out of the Tyldesley report.
Councillor Melville said that very important views expressed
by the consultant should have been spelt out in the report. Mr Rae she said,
had emphasised that the advise of the independent traffic study had been
responsible for comments in his report. The landscape advice, she said, should
be treated in the same way.
Yesterday Mr Rae said every effort had been made to make
sure that the fullest information possible had been made available so that
informed decision-making could take place.
The consultants report has been referred to not
only in my report but also in the overview to be discussed In addition to this,
every consultants report has been available to every member of the east
area development committee and the strategic development committee, said
It will be for the committee to use that information
and weigh up the pluses and minuses of each application before reaching a final
The chairman of St Andrews community council, Dr Frank
Riddell, revealed that he has written again to the Scottish Office to express
the councils concern over the entire issue.
He has called on First Minister Donald Dewar to call in
major golf and leisure related planning applications for St Andrews, backed by
other concerned parties.
Local MP Menzies Campbell, MSP lain Smith and the St
Andrews Preservation Trust have all made similar pleas within the last few
Dr Riddell said in his letter that it had appeared to the
council that the issues surrounding the £50 million Kingask
development had been prejudged by Fife Council officials.
There had also, he said, been widespread public unease at
the way Fife Council was handling these matters. more
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