Goodbye playpark, hello improved toilets at West Sands

Toilets at West Sands, St Andrews
Toilets at West Sands, St Andrews

Disappointment has been expressed across St Andrews at the sudden disappearance of play equipment at West Sands.

Consternation was apparent across social media, with contributors wondering where the swings, roundabout and other children’s favourites had gone.

Local councillor Brian Thomson had the answer – removed in the interests of safety – but he also had some hope to offer.

Cllr Thomson explained that as long as a year ago he had been told the equipment would have to be removed because of its age and condition.

But now he said: “A proposal for replacement play equipment and a cost estimate will be prepared, for further consideration by the St Andrews ward councillors.

If there is consensus that replacement play equipment should be installed, the St Andrews Common Good Fund may be a potential source of funding.”

Cllr Thomson added: “Given the number of people that have contacted me about the play park, and the amount of comments on social media, there certainly seems to be a desire within the community for the play equipment to be replaced.”

The dilapidated toilets on the West Sands, once described as “like something out of Trainspotting”, are also in for a face lift – despite Fife Council’s north east Fife area committee dropping the issue from their agenda this week.

Councillors were to have been asked to agreed to contribute £40,000 towards the £80,000 cost of refurbishing one toilet block, demolishing the other and replacing it with a modular unit.

Now, however, the Common Good Fund is to be asked to fund the full cost of the work, rather than the 50 per cent initially agreed.

Fiona Mitchell, locality team leader, explained: “We’re in the process of applying for funding to refurbish the toilets at West Sands from the Common Good Fund.

‘‘A report should be discussed by the committee in March and work should start as soon as possible, taking into consideration peak holiday periods.”