Councillors decide on controversial St Andrews care home bid

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Plans for a new  care home have been rejected in St Andrews.

The applicant wanted to convert a former home in Hepburn Gardens into a 40 bed residential care home, but attracted numerous  objections.

The plans to convert the B-Listed building received 68 objections from 40 individuals and bodies, including St Andrews Community Counciland Hepburn Gardens Area Residents Association.

Reasons  included a loss of privacy, noise from parking, insufficient parking, light pollution in the Conservation area and commercial activity being brought into a residential area.

One letter of support was submitted.

Councillors at the North East planning committee rejected the plans from CAF Properties, after numerous concerns were raised over loss of residents’ privacy, the impact of noise both during construction and operation and the increased traffic from both.

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Conservative Councillor Linda Holt said: “This is a conservation area that is entirely residential, and here you’ve got a commercial premises to be open 24 hours a day. I’m concerned that doesn’t fit in with the nature and character of a quiet conservation area.”

But solicitor Steven Paterson reminded councillors: “In the conservation area you already have a care home, Balnacarron Care Home, in the conservation area.”

But Conservative Councillor Dominic Nolan said that he was still concerned about the impact heavy construction, service and visitor traffic.

He proposed a motion to reject the care home, saying: “I would move we refuse this application on the grounds of amenity and traffic movement and the impact it would have on noise levels. I’m just not satisfied they’re acceptable. I would also move that it be refused on the fact that the care home is not of the appropriate scale and character to the surrounding area.”

Conservative Councillor Tony Miklinski seconded the motion, adding in the request that it be refused due to the impact the new build section of the care home would have on the conservation area.

But Liberal Democrat Councillor Tim Brett moved an amendment that the care home be allowed to go forward, saying: “I know there are a number of people not happy with this application. And I accept this isn’t about needing more care homes, but the fact is, we do. I feel the officers have addressed all the issues in the report, so I’m happy to move that we accept.”

The amendment was seconded by SNPs Bill Connor.

However, the application was voted down eight votes to three.

Emma O'Neill , Local Democracy Reporting Service