Developers have appealed a decision to throw out plans for a “carbuncle” at one of the world’s most iconic sporting locations.
They say the proposal for four luxury houses near the Old Course in St Andrews is a “significant improvement” on the 1960s-built house currently on the site.
Councillors rejected the planning application for the “millionaire’s palace” overlooking the Swilcan Bridge in October.
One member branded the modern design “literally quite shocking”.
It looks to me like another carbuncle.”
SNP councillor David McDiarmid.
The 700-year-old stone bridge between the first and 18th fairways is one of the most photographed spots in Scotland, with golf fans visiting from across the globe.
Members of the north east planning committee said the development would have a negative impact on the famous site.
They also raised fears it would create a flood risk.
However, planning agents Iceni Projects have now lodged a bid with the Scottish Government in an attempt to overturn the decision.
This is a very sensitive site and it calls for something of high aspiration.”
Architect Charles Hussey.
They claim councillors ignored proposed measures to eliminate any risk of flooding before refusing the application.
And they say the existing house is not longer fit for purpose and has little architectural merit.
Owners Athole Reid and Gillian Aspin want to demolish it to make way for the new homes.
The appeal concludes: “Granting planning permission for the proposed development would facilitate the redevelopment of this sustainable site for new family homes.”
The new houses were designed by award-winning architects Sutherland Hussey Harris.
Charles Hussey said: “This is a very sensitive site and it calls for something of high aspiration.”
Fife Council planners recommended the application be approved when it went before councillors in October.
St Andrews Preservation Trust was also in favour, describing the design of the three and four-storey homes as inspirational.
But there were 38 letters of objection.
These included one from the community council which said the proposed buildings were not typical of St Andrews.
Environment watchdog Sepa and the council’s own flooding and harbour service also objected on the grounds the homes’ design would increase the risk of flooding.
However, planning officers said it would not have a significant effect.
The committee unanimously rejected the application on the grounds of both its visual impact and the perceived flood risk.
Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski said at the time: “It would be right next to the Swilcan Bridge and I do have a concern that it really does not fit in with the kind of buildings around it.”
He added that if it were built, many people would ask: “What kind of numpties approved that?”
SNP councillor David McDiarmid said the modern houses would jar with the neighbouring sandstone buildings.
“It looks to me like another carbuncle,” he said.