‘Masterplan’ drawing up for St Andrews housing site

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DEVELOPERS are determined to press ahead with their plans for the Abbey Park site in St Andrews despite Fife Council rejecting the first phase of the scheme last week.

Having been recommended for approval, the planning application was rejected when it went before the north east Fife area committee.

But the company behind the development, Robertson Homes (under the name Knightsbridge Homes), are undeterred by last week’s decision and remain determined to see the scheme through.

They are already in discussions with Fife Council and are hoping to have a finalised “masterplan” ready within one month.

A revised planning application covering the entire development could then go before councillors again in the autumn.

“Last week’s decision is unfortunate but we have accepted it and moved on,” Robertson Homes regional director John Murphy told the Citizen this week.

‘‘We have to respond to people’s views in the proper fashion and build support for what we are trying to do.

”We have already spent a lot of time with the local community and we will continue to do so.

“Thirty per cent of the site will be affordable housing so it would be a real mixed community including, hopefully, young families.

“There is a lack of supply when it comes to housing and what we have at Abbey Park is a ideal, a brownfield site close to the centre of town.

“We want to build good quality housing. They might not be cheap, this is St Andrews, but they wont be extortionate either and - with Kingdom Housing involved with the affordable housing - it’s sure to be a good mix of people if we can get it all sorted out and approved.”

The application before councillors last week was for 28 new-build flats as well as a further 14 in a refurbished St Nicholas House.

Developers hope to eventually have over 300 homes at the site as well as a hotel and business units.

An objection to the first application was lodged by St Andrews Community Council, who said: “We wish to see an agreed masterplan for the site, rather than piecemeal development, particularly if the size of sub-divisions is chosen to circumvent detailed public consultation.

“We also wish the type of housing provided to address local need, noting that, even before the recession, by far the greatest need in St Andrews was for affordable housing.”