More details emerge about £20m luxury lodge development near St Andrews

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William Stewart owns lodge parks across Scotland.

More details have emerged about ambitious plans for a new £20 million luxury lodge development earmarked for the outskirts of St Andrews.

Gleneagles Holiday Parks Limited hopes to create the major tourist, commercial and leisure development at North Bank Farm, Lathockar, over the coming months and have this week formally submitted new documents – including an environmental impact assessment – accompanying their application to Fife Council.

The masterplan for the near seven-hectare site has revealed the development will comprise 82 luxury lodges of five different designs; a hub building with bar/restaurant, retail/leisure facilities and a reception area; landscaped open space and play areas; and other site infrastructure and utilities.

With the proposals  tweaked following public consultation and talks with council officials, Alan Seath, from Seath Planning Consultancy, acting on behalf of Gleneagles Holiday Parks, has urged the local authority to support the project.

He argues the allocation of the site for tourism purposes in the current Local Development Plan establishes a principle for such a development.

He said: “In particular there is a demonstrable need in the St Andrews area and distinct economic advantages can be derived from this proposed development.

“The planning application is supported by a number of technical studies, including the detailed environmental statement, and these confirm that the proposed development can be accommodated without any adverse impact on the existing built or natural environment and the rural community.

“In addition, other material considerations add significant weight to the case presented by the project team to allow the council to take a positive decision on this planning application.”

The Stewart family, which already owns lodge parks at Grand Eagles in Auchterarder, Loch Manor Estate at Dunning, and Lochlands near Forfar, is behind the North Bank Farm development.

William Stewart Jnr said: “We are hugely excited about our new park.

“St Andrews is a fabulous location, a town offering great golf, a fantastic foodie vibe and lots to see and do with a coastal location to boot.

“To have not invested in this park in a proven location like St Andrews would have been a major missed opportunity as the sector is so vibrant.”

Planning permission in principle was granted in March 2010 covering a larger site.

That consent was extended by a further two years to allow more time for the plans, but the current applicants acquired part of the site in December 2016 with a view to developing out the luxury lodge element of the planning permission.

They said that the increased number of lodges has been proposed “in order to offer the critical mass necessary to make this a vibrant, viable and functioning tourist development”.

The company claims the scheme would create more than 90 jobs, 25 of them at the park, and construction could begin in May.