A proposal for a “utilitarian” shed and fuel tank and St Andrews Harbour have been thrown out after being the subject of nearly 140 letters to the council.
Fife Council planners said the “low quality” structure would be an “incongruous addition” to the historic A-listed harbour, which also boasts the B-listed Bell Rock House.
St Andrews Harbour Trust said the shed was needed to accommodate toilet facilities for the harbour master and staff as well as storage space for essential safety equipment. Meanwhile, the tank was said to be necessary to store diesel, used by local fishermen, safely.
A total of 82 people wrote to the council in support of the proposal.
The local authority also received 63 letters of objection.
Councillors on North East Planning Committee unanimously rejected the plans after council planners recommended refusal on the grounds the shed and fuel tank would be “an incongruous addition within the surrounding area, whose utilitarian form, choice of colour and low quality finishing materials, would have a significant detrimental visual impact on the immediate area”.
However SNP councillor Bill Connor and Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski acknowledged there was a need for facilities at the working harbour.
“This is cheap and not very cheerful,” said Mr Miklinski.
“But I do take the point that Bill has made, that it’s a working harbour and obviously there’s a need for the facilities.”
Mr Miklinski asked service manager Alastair Hamilton why the applicants were not asked to amend the proposal to make it more acceptable.
Mr Hamilton said the substantial changes required meant a fresh proposal would need to be submitted.
“I think had this been a more traditional, perhaps wet dash render building, pantile roof, and something better than a cage surrounding an oil tank, there would have been somewhere to go with it,” said Mr Hamilton.
“But it was more than just cosmetic changes to the shed that was required.
“A shed in that location with a steel cage around an oil tank isn’t really good enough.”
He added: “It might be there are other sites around the harbour where this building in that form would sit better. It just so happens this is about the most prominent location that could be picked.”
Lib Dem councillor Bill Porteous said considering the application had been “wasted time”.
He added: “I think Alastair’s been very diplomatic. This is wasted time both in terms of Fife Council officers and ourselves as councillors, and I think that applicants need to bear in mind that Fife Council’s planning department is a busy place. We don’t really need to waste time like this.”
The resident said he wanted his ashes to be laid to rest at the site earmarked for the shed.