Fight on for halls extension

Dreel Halls, Anstruther
Dreel Halls, Anstruther

Anstruther Improvements Association has launched an appeal against Fife Council’s refusal to give planning permission for an extension to the Dreel Halls.

The appeal is one of four currently with the Scottish Government’s Directorate for Planning and Environmental Appeals (DPEA) after councillors refused permission against the recommendations of their own planning officials.

The alterations are a modest and appropriate change to the building

Arc Architects

Plans for an major extension to the Macdonald Rusack Hotel in St Andrews, new homes in the town’s West Acres and Murrayfield Road, and a wind turbine near Crail were all rejected by councillors against advice and are now subject to appeal.

The Anstruther Improvements Association had sought permission to carry out work inside the halls, open up glass doors to the rear of the building and build a semi-circular extension with a gold coloured metallic surface into the graveyard to house a lift, toilets and storage space.

The work will make the building more accessible for all users of the community facility.

But, against a recommendation of approval for the application from planning officials, councillors rejected the application.

They decided that the plan would have a “significant detrimental visual impact on the appearance of the existing traditional lime rendered buildings, due to the irregular shape and materials proposed”.

Now Arc Architects have said in the appeal that the proposal is “a carefully considered, site specific response informed by nine years of work on these buildings.

“The design follows the consistent approach discussed with stakeholders, meets the requirements of Historic Scotland and follows [their] guidance on the design of extensions.”

Arc continued: “The alterations are a modest and appropriate change to the building, which will ensure a sustained future in public use. This is consistent with the historic pattern of change on the site over 1000 years where the people of Anstruther have changed and altered buildings to meet their changing needs, expressed in the style of the day.

“A modest contemporary addition to these historic buildings is a positive contribution to this site’s living history, reflecting the change that community ownership marks in the site’s long history.”

The DPEA is due to announce its decision on the appeal by mid-July.