Town hotelier between a rock and a hard place

Controversial proposals by a St Andrews hotelier to partially demolish a listed rigg wall in the town’s historic conservation area have run into strong opposition.

Agents on behalf of the owner of the Albany Hotel, North Street, have lodged an application with Fife Council planners for full and listed building consent to alter a boundary wall, reform a previous accesss, and the construction of stone gate pillars and a timber gate to form an emergency exit from the premises.


However, a number of townspeople have joined with St Andrews Community Council, St Andrews Preservation Trust and a local residents’ association in objecting to the plans.

A spokeswoman for the trust said: ”We wish to object to the proposal if it means destroying part of an ancient rigg wall.”

Howard Greenwell, convener of the community council’s planning committee, added: ”We object to the partial demolition of an historic listed wall. The hotel has perfectly good access on North Street and should not be permitted to have this additional access through houses on Market Street.”

A spokesman for the Eastenders Residents’ Association described the rigg boundary walls of properties in the old town as “unique historic features,” which should be conserved, except in the most exceptional circumstances.


The association pointed out there is no right of way through a courtyard from Market Street and expressed concern that people accessing or leaving the hotel in this way would cause noise and nuisance to residents in the immediate area.

Other opponents claim that the proposed path would significantly reduce the amenity and privacy of neighbouring properties and, if the intention is to give access to a beer garden, the level of noise and disturbance would add greatly to this.

They also cite the unnecessary removal and damage to part of an historic wall within the curtilage of a listed building