Second refusal for flats in St Andrews amid road safety fears

A planned block of flats in St Andrews has been refused for a second time after failing to quell councillors' fears over road safety and visual clashes with nearby buildings.

Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:20 pm
Updated Thursday, 11th March 2021, 6:21 pm
The vision of how the flats might have looked.

The plans, for a new three-storey block of flats, to be slotted between the Kinburn Guest House and a neighbouring building on Doubledykes Road.

Applicant, Elaine Russell, owner of the Kinburn Guest House, had filed the revised plans after they were refused in the 2020 amid concerns over their design and how they would fit into the St Andrews conservation area.

Among other changes, the building's size had been scaled back and the materials changed to be more sympathetic with those used on neighbouring properties.

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Planners recommended the proposals for approval, with conditions including at least five off-street parking spaces.

Five objections were filed by members of the public and the Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland. St Andrews Community Council also stated its unhappiness with the proposal.

Cllr Ann Verner (SNP, St Andrews) told Wednesday's North East Planning Committee that she would be surprised if the plans were approved after similar concerns put paid to another proposal on Doubledykes Road in February.

She said: "I appreciate the applicant is going to provide more parking spaces but the photographs we've been shown must have been taken during lockdown because that road is never that quiet.

"I can't get my head around the fact that this is acceptable."

The SNP councillor seconded an amendment by ward stablemate Jane Ann Liston (Lib Dem) to refuse the application.

"This is in a conservation area and there are traffic issues," she noted.

Cllr Tony Miklinski (Con, Cupar) moved approval of the plans, seconded by Cllr Bill Porteous (Lib Dem, East Neuk and Landward).

Cllr Miklinski said: "Traffic management (council officers) are content - that counts for a lot.

"The case against this is being a wee bit overstated and the applicant has gone to a lot of effort to address these issues rather than just go to appeal.”

Councillors voted by a margin of eight votes to six in favour of refusal and the plans were knocked back. Agents acting on behalf of Russell did not respond to a request for comment.

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