Campaign mounted over hotel plans

Dr Sandra Stewart with some of the objectors.
Dr Sandra Stewart with some of the objectors.

‘Horrified’ residents of Abbey Park in St Andrews are mounting a campaign against plans to build a hotel and student accommodation on their doorstep.

Would-be developer Robertson Property Ltd. held a public consultation last Friday at which it was announced that a planning application was to be lodged for a 90-bed hotel and student accommodation of 104 beds over two blocks.

But people living in Abbey Park – many of whom are retired – have reacted with fury.

They are to hold a meeting in the Cosmos Centre at 6.30pm tonight (Friday) with the aim of challenging the plans.

Said resident Sandra Stewart: “It seems that the developer is determined to maximise profit potential at all costs with no concern for the disruption this causes to the lives of the people who live on the site.

“Many of the residents have lived near student accommodation and will vouch that this is an unpleasant experience.

“With the best will in the world, there is little chance of harmony between an elderly population seeking a relaxed and peaceful atmosphere and students who are at an age where they want to express themselves and enjoy freedom from the restriction of living with the older generation.

“The residents are not against developing the site per se but what is being proposed is not in character with the existing development.

“To propose student accommodation front and centre of a retirement complex is completely unsympathetic to the needs of the residents.”

She continued: “The developer seems driven to create a cramped development to maximise profit irrespective of the impact on the residents and any resultant discomfort that may be suffered. Many of the residents have chosen a home in a quiet location close to local amenities and are concerned that this will be far from what they will find themselves living in. The residents are prepared to fight for the right development of the site on which they have chosen to live.”

A spokesman for Robertson Homes said the proposal would ‘reintroduce an attractive public realm with a sense of place’, with landscaped gardens to encourage activity by local residents.