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Plans for 35 retirement caravans at £20m St Andrews holiday park rejected as ‘unsustainable’

Stewarts Resort St Andrews
Stewart's Resort.

Plans for 35 retirement caravans on the edge of St Andrews have been rejected.

The owners of luxury lodge park Stewart’s Resort wanted to extend the site by building residential caravans for the over 50s.

They said the development would support the business financially during the winter months.

 The owners of Stewart’s Resort, St Andrews, wanted to create 35 caravans for the over 50s.

The company has invested £20 million in the holiday park, which is four miles south of St Andrews.

It already operates three other facilities in Perthshire and Angus but says the Fife one is its most ambitious to date.

However, members of the north east planning committee have refused permission for the residential retirement caravans, which would have extended the existing park.

They feared an increase in traffic generated by the development would affect road safety.

And they said its countryside location meant the lodges were not sustainable.

Stewart’s already has planning permission to extend the park.

Plans include a leisure development with retail, a cafe and restaurant, a visitor centre and craft workshops.

The consent also includes 15 houses, which would have been replaced by the caravans.

Cases for and against the application

Fife Council planners recommended the new application should be approved.

They said it was in accordance with the local plan and that the site had been identified as suitable for permanent residential accommodation.

And they said no statutory bodies had raised any significant issues with the proposal.

There were also 13 letters of support from people who said the development would help elderly people and support local businesses.

However, 14 letters of objection were also received, including from Cameron Community Council.

They raised concerns over the development of farmland and said it wasn’t in keeping with the rural setting.

Traffic fears were also raised as the entrance is on the A915, the main road into St Andrews.

And councillors agreed with the objections.

‘Unsustainable location’

St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said: “We had planning permission for much-needed affordable houses for people who work in the countryside.

“Now we’re talking about retirement accommodation with a significant increase on the previous application.

“People there will be in and out all day and there will be more need for local services.

“This is an unsustainable location.”

Problems with drainage and a lack of buses to and from the site were also cited as reasons for rejecting the application.

And it was refused unanimously by the committee.

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