Ducking the ducting issue in town centre

External ducting on the new St Andrews University students union building in St Marys Street has been complained about.
External ducting on the new St Andrews University students union building in St Marys Street has been complained about.
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External ducting on the recently refurbished students’ association building in St Marys Place has been described as looking like flumes at a leisure centre.

Jim McArthur described the ducting as: “very unsightly and more suitable to an industrial estate than in the centre of the St Andrews Conservation Area.”

He told the Citizen that the ducting, to the rear and side of the building did not have planning permission as it was not shown on the original planning application.

Mr McArthur also claimed: “Fife Council were contacted by adjoining proprietors and acknowledged that the ducting had not received planning approval and confirmed that if they did not receive a retrospective planning application then they would issue an enforcement notice for the ducting to be removed.

“No notice has yet been issued seven months after the work was completed.”

However, this week Alastair Hamilton, Fife Council’s Service Manager - Community Developments & Investment, said: “We have received a complaint regarding the ducting on the Students’ Union building in St Andrews.

“We are currently investigating the issue to determine the appropriate action required to address the situation.”

In the meantime a university spokesman said: “We’re working to find a way to conceal the external ducts, with a view to submitting a planning request later this month.

“We take the views of local residents very seriously and hope to act on concerns quickly, while finding a safe and sustainable solution.”

The ducting is essential to the ventilation of the refurbished building and it had been intended to be housed internally, which was found to be impractical.