A plan to expand St Andrews has been approved by local councillors. This will involve the building of around 900 new homes, a business park and shops over several years.
Councillors have given the green light to a plan which will significantly expand St Andrews. The plan includes the construction of around 900 new homes, as well as a business park and shops. The plan also includes creating new public open spaces and landscaping.
The location of the site lies approximately one kilometre to the west of St Andrews town centre. Land has been reserved for the use of the University of St Andrews.
Councillors confirmed that the approval regarded “the overall development” rather than specific details which would be discussed in the future.
The plan is set to take several years, and a report before Fife Council’s north east planning committee said they expect to be able to market the site in around a year, once ambiguity surrounding Covid-19 has eased.
Labour Councillor, Brian Thomson, did not participate in the determination of the planning application by the north east planning committee, but as a councillor for St Andrews commented:
“I do recognise that the development will change the landscape setting around the western edge of the town, however, the town has been constrained for far too long, and there is a desperate need for new affordable housing in particular. Combined with the Craigtoun Road development that was approved in 2018, around 390 new affordable homes are proposed, which will hopefully see many more local families able to stay in the town, as well as providing housing for people moving to the town for work.”
“The planned development is also an opportunity for businesses to expand or establish themselves in St Andrews, which will hopefully lead to the creation of local jobs and reduce the need for people to commute out of the town for work.”
With regards to traffic concerns, he continued, “It’s inevitable that the development will generate more vehicular traffic, however, I’m satisfied with the mitigation measures proposed, which include the signalisation of the Buchanan Gardens/Hepburn Gardens and West Port mini roundabouts, the extension of the link road that will divert traffic away from the town centre, and the proposed shared pedestrian/cycle route along Buchanan Gardens, Hepburn Gardens and Doubledykes Road.”
These plans have run into controversy, with the Hepburn Gardens Area Residents Association, the Confederation of St Andrews Residents Associations and St Andrews Community Council all raising fears relating to the scheme. Such fears include concerns for shared space between cyclists and pedestrians, and loss of trees.
As reported in the Courier, case officer William Shand has said that few trees will be cut down and any lost hedgerow will be replaced.