Plan for modern houses overlooking iconic Fife spot receives mixed reaction

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

Plans to build four modern houses with views overlooking one of the most photographed spots in St Andrews have received a mixed reception.

Proposals have been submitted to demolish a house and construct four new homes close to the Swilken Bridge on the Old Course.

St Andrews Preservation Trust described the design of the proposed building as ‘inspirational’ and said it would demonstrate ‘how well 21st century architecture can fit into a small historic town’.

However, St Andrews Community Council has objected to the plans. While they said the design was ‘unlike any other buildings in St Andrews’, the group also noted it contrasted with the other buildings next to the course and would not preserve and enhance the area.

Penny Uprichard, chair of the planning committee, said: “Hundreds and possibly thousands of people take photographs from the Swilken Bridge during the year, and from the steps to the first tee from the Royal and Ancient Golf Club. Many of them will not wish to include the proposed buildings in their photographs, as they are not typical of St Andrews, nor of the conservation area.”

Architects Sutherland Hussey Harris said it worked ‘frequently’ in sensitive heritage locations across Scotland.

A spokesperson for the award-winning architects added: “When working in a location such as this it can be difficult to please everyone’s tastes. We have worked carefully with Fife Council, local stakeholders and the client to develop a design we feel is suited to the context.”