St Andrews: New student accommodation will be largest single expansion in town in a decade

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St Andrews University has secured planning consent for new student accommodation which will support the largest single expansion of student bedrooms in the town in a decade.

Fife Council has given the go ahead to the university’s plans for a site on the North Haugh known as ‘Gap Site 3’, which is between Andrew Melville Hall And Agnes Blackadder Hall, and will see 148 new bedrooms created for use by the institution’s growing student population.

The university currently provides around 44% of beds for the current student population, around 4,100 beds for around 9,300 students, but there is a worry that more students will be forced into the private market as the numbers rise.

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With that in mind, the university has embarked on a £100m programme to provide an extra 1,000 spaces during term-time, with the ‘Gap Site 3’ proposals contributing to that target along with other projects such as the redevelopment of the Albany Park site.

It is the single biggest expansion in town in a decadeIt is the single biggest expansion in town in a decade
It is the single biggest expansion in town in a decade

Benjamin Stuart, residential and business services director at St Andrews University, said the extra beds are required to “contain growth” and keep housing pressure away from an “already saturated private market.”

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“The University of St Andrews is acutely aware of the increasing pressures on St Andrews from the accommodation demands of our students,” he said.

“We are also seeing increasingly high demands from students in terms of the quality and configuration of university provided accommodation.

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The new development for 1000 studentsThe new development for 1000 students
The new development for 1000 students

“The university currently provides around 4,100 bed spaces, which, when compared to other university locations, this represents a high proportion of university provided bed spaces when compared to the overall student population.

“This, however, requires to be considered in the context of the constrained housing market in St Andrews and pressures from the local community and tourism markets, especially in terms of HMO properties, meaning that available accommodation is at a premium.

“It is for these reasons that the university is committed to increasing the quantity and quality of student accommodation across its estate and Gap Site 3 located at the North Haugh, is a key component of this strategy.

“The strategy to deliver more bed spaces is a testament to the University’s ongoing commitment to continue to deliver an outstanding experience that students and graduates cherish, and furthermore demonstrates the effectiveness of the close partnership between staff and student leaders, in tackling the community’s biggest challenges.”

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As well as 148 rooms, the new building will also include shared kitchen/living spaces, group study rooms, offices, a warden studio flat and a number of service rooms.

The building itself will also be made up of three individual 'fingers' between three and four storeys in height, which will be connected by glazed circulation spaces.

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