St Andrews development slammed as a ‘carbuncle’ up for second design award

The West Burn Lane development in St Andrews.
The West Burn Lane development in St Andrews.

A St Andrews housing development slammed as a ‘carbuncle’ by the local community has been short-listed for a second award.

West Burn Lane - shortlisted last month for an award by the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland (RIAS) - is now in the running for honours from the Saltire Society.

The Society said the standard of entries for its design awards was “immeasurably high”.

The site in the historic centre of the town had a contentious planning history, with two previous failed bids for developments, before the plan for six houses, four maisonettes and four apartments was granted permission in 2013.

At the time, St Andrews Community Council and St Andrews Preservation Trust objected strongly to the design - and both are still adamant the development is not in keeping with character of the town centre.

“The only award this should be shortlisted for is Carbuncle of the Year,” said Howard Greenwell, chairman of the community council, when he heard of the RIAS news.

“If this wins any other prize, then the architecture profession will go down several notches in my opinion as they seem to be completely dismissive of, and ignorant of, conservation issues of the town.”

Graham Wynd, chairman of St Andrews Preservation Trust, said the trust had no objection to contemporary design in the centre of St Andrews and that much of the development along West Burn Lane was acceptable.

However, as well as feeling the brickwork was inappropriate, lifeless and “almost industrial”, he said the main objection was that the development protruded too far out the lane.

Three of the four townhouses - each with a price tag of £875,000 - are all that remain unsold of the 14 properties in the development.