Positive response to £7m St Andrews project

An artist's impression of the development.
An artist's impression of the development.

Proposals to develop a 65-bedroom hotel and quality retail food store in St Andrews- the latter understood to be for Marks and Spencer - are set to be submitted to Fife Council planners later this month.

It was revealed on Thursday that Ashleigh (St Andrews) Ltd, sister company of the leading construction firm Ashleigh Scotland, plans to build a Premier Inn and a Marks and Spencer Simply Food store on a site in Largo Road, at present occupied by a slaughterhouse operated by the St Andrews Abattoir Company Ltd.

The £7 million plans - exclusively revealed in the Citizen two weeks ago - have already come under public scrutiny at two well-attended exhibitions in St Andrews and the developers are known to be extremely happy at how they have been received.

Ged Hainey, of Ryden - the firm preparing the planning application - said more than 200 people took the opportunity to view the plans and ask questions.

He told the Citizen: ”The response to our exhibitions has been overwhelmingly favourable which is encouraging. We would like to thank all the visitors for their interest.

“Only a few concerns were raised and we will consider these matters further.

‘‘All responses received up to July 30 will be reported to Fife Council and will form part of our planning application.

“Once it has been submitted, there will, of course, be an opportunity for members of the public and other stakeholders to make formal comments direct to the council. Given the level of support so far, I am hopeful that these will be supportive.”

The project, say Ashleigh, will comprehensively redevelop the brownfield site to improve the environment and amenity of the area. If the planning application is successful, work on the store and hotel would begin next year with the former being ready to open by late summer followed by the hotel in the spring of 2014.

The food store - providing just under 1000 square metres of retail floor space - will primarily concentrate on foodstuffs and, in a first for the United Kingdom, the Premier Inn will feature a bespoke and secure golf club store as part of the hotel development.

The multi-million pound project will bring approximately 80 full and part-time jobs to the area.

Premier Inn, owned by Whitbread, is the UK’s largest hotel brand with over 600 hotels and, like M&S, operate around the world.

Further details, including a comment form, can be found at www.largoroadstandrews.co.uk or obtained from Ged Hainey, Ryden, 130 St Vincent Street, Glasgow G2 5HF, or by email at ged.hainey@ryden.co.uk. Written comments can be made via the webpage or directly to Ryden by letter or by email.

The slaughterhouse was designed in 1852 by George Rae, the first architect of the Royal and Ancient Golf Clubhouse in St Andrews. His original and beautifully drawn plans can be seen in the burgh records of St Andrews which are housed in the special collections unit of the university.