An application for planning permission by a large coastal caravan site to expand its current holiday park could boost local trade and create jobs.
The long-established St Andrews Holiday Park, owned and operated by family-owned Abbeyford Leisure Ltd, has applied to Fife Council for a change of use of neighbouring agricultural land to form an extension to the caravan park to accommodate 43 static pitches for holiday use.
The company has cited the economic benefit to St Andrews and the surrounding area as a significant factor in support of the application.
An analysis of the benefits has been produced by Montgomery Forgan Associates on behalf of Abbeyford Leisure Ltd, which claims the expansion could bring economic benefits to the tune of nearly £350,000 annually, £206,159 of which would be spent off-site.
A spokesman from Abbeyford Leisure, which operates St Andrews Holiday Park, said: “Our award-winning holiday park has been an iconic part of the St Andrews landscape for decades and has been a favoured holiday spot for generations.
“We’re one of the largest accommodation providers in the town and our guests provide a huge injection of welcome trade to businesses across St Andrews and the East Neuk.
“Our plans to extend partly into the neighbouring field will not only boost local trade further, but will also create more jobs.”
The report also states that seven jobs will be created but “the actual number of jobs created and sustained will be more than this, given that many jobs in the local tourism and hospitlaity sector are part-time and to some degree seasonal.
“It is likely that the number of actual jobs created and then sustained by the Park extension would be around 12”.
Caravan tourism is disproportionately important to Fife, with the area home to almost 15 percent of all ‘owner-occupied’ caravan pitches in Scotland, according to a 2014 economic report by the Scottish Caravan and Camping Forum.