Russell Hotel: developer gets green light to demolish more of St Andrews hotel

Developers have been granted permission to demolish more of the former Russell Hotel in St Andrews’ conservation area.
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Fife’s Council's North East planning committee rubber stamped the additional plans on Wednesday after discussing the proposals.

WT The Scores Ltd originally applied for consent to convert the former 20th century hotel into four high end flats, and demolish its extension on Murray Park to create two more. The company then returned seeking permission to carry out more work and the demolition needed.

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Work will now include removing and rebuilding the roof structure in its entirety; removing and replacing the turret on the north east corner at the junction of The Scores and Murray Park; and removing the gabled portion of the south facing stone wall along Murray Park.

The Russell Hotel, St AndrewsThe Russell Hotel, St Andrews
The Russell Hotel, St Andrews

“The scope of down takings has been increased since the previous application was approved, to include two elements of the existing building which are proposed to be carefully dismantled and rebuilt,” a design statement explained.

“On investigation, the structural support to the existing turret requires its temporary removal and then re-instated with the new roof works in order to provide sound structural support during and after construction.”

Air source heat pumps and a 1 metre tall by 1.3 metre wide smoke shaft will be installed on the rooftop as well.

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Planning officers said it is the minimum size required by building standards to ventilate escape routes.

“There have been some concerns raised about the visual impact of the smoke vent. However, the views of the roof area are extremely limited,” planning officers said.

“As you go west along the road, there are quite a lot of roof features and roof structures on top of other buildings - water tanks and other paraphernalia. When you walk along The Scores, you struggle to see those things at close quarters.”

The proposals were approved unanimously by the committee.