When work begins on the old police station site in St Andrews, expected early in the new year, it will be groundbreaking in more ways than one.
The North Street development to demolish the existing building and create 16 apartments in two blocks will also include what is believed to be the town’s first underground car park.
A graphic of how the flats at the former St Andrews Police Station will look was issued by the architects commissioned for the project, Muir Walker and Pride.
Director Ian Muir said: “It’s been an extended process but our practice has worked closely with the client, Historic Scotland and Fife Council planning department to design an attractive scheme that will make a positive contribution to the historic townscape whilst developing 16 desirable apartments with underground parking and lifts.”
That extended process started in 2013 when the first bid for permission for the development was refused by Fife Council and then, following an appeal, also rejected by a Scottish Government reporter.
Although in a Conservation Area, the existing building, purpose-built as a police station in 1935, is not listed and was described as being typical of 1930s-style burgh/town council-type design with some Baronial/Renaissance influences by the Councils’s lead officer on the case.
An attractive scheme that will make a positive contribution to the historic townscape.Ian Muir
In its design statement on the modified application, which took into account previous concerns, the architects describe the building as “utilitarian standard of no architectural merit.”
However, keeping a close eye on the excavation stage will be the Councils archaeologist.
The site is within the St Andrews Archeological Area of Regional Importance and could have considerable archeological potential.
It is considered highly likely that buried deposits of medieval times still exist on site with the potential to provide further information on the early organisation and evolution of one of Scotland’s best preserved and most important medieval towns.
St Andrews Preservation Trust objected to the modified proposal, fearing its scale, at two storeys higher than its neighbours, would dominate its setting among fine historic buildings.