Plans for new apartments earmarked for the St Andrews Conservation Area have been slammed by the town’s community council.
After considering the blueprint, the organisation’s planning committee has confirmed it has lodged a formal objection to Muir Walker and Pride’s proposal for eight contemporary flats on a steeply sloping site just off the A915 Bridge Street to the north of Kinness Place — branding the new properties “extremely conspicuous”.
The planning application also sought consent to demolish an existing house at 22 Lade Braes, but the community council has also objected to that aspect — citing a number of people on the housing list who would be happy to occupy it.
Penny Uprichard, the community council’s planning convenor, said: “We object to the design and massing of this proposal, and in particular to its location in the Central Conservation Area in St Andrews.
“Mr Robin Evetts, formerly of Historic Scotland, says: ‘The overwhelming majority of domestic buildings in the Conservation Area have pitched roofs with slates or pantiles, and have some kind of balanced, symmetrical elements, or have evolved in a vernacular, picturesque manner. The proposed flats have none of the characteristics and would therefore be incongruous in their proposed conspicuous setting…’.
“We entirely agree with this description of the proposed flats, and it is clear from the photomontages that they would be extremely conspicuous because of their modern design and large areas of concrete.”
Miss Uprichard also questioned whether the proposed exit on to Melbourne Brae would be safe.
“After being stopped at the West Port, and possibly stopped at the traffic lights which allow pedestrians on the Lade Braes to cross, drivers will be impatient to get going,” the objection continued.
“Yet another stop for traffic turning into or exiting the site would probably be one too many.
“We also wish to object to the removal of the two benches (which it is believed are in the area owned by Fife Council).
“For people pushing prams or bicycles or carrying impediments the benches offer a resting place half way up Melbourne Brae, and they are well used.”
The planning application is expected to be considered by councillors later this year, and comments are still being sought on the proposals.
Ian Muir, director of Muir Walker and Pride, said: “The proposal is to replace a 1960s house with a new building that offers each apartment fantastic accommodation and views and associated covered parking tucked under the building,” he said.
“The new building has been designed to interpret and reflect the urban form, scale, massing, finishing materials and architectural characteristics of the buildings in the vicinity of the site and to enhance the character of St Andrews Conservation area.”