Ambitious multi-million pound plans which will more than double the amount of student accommodation at a popular beachfront site in St Andrews have been unveiled.
Albany Park, which is directly next to the East Sands, was opened in the 1970s and currently provides around 340 single rooms for students.
Considerable maintenance and upkeep is needed on the existing buildings and £70 million has been earmarked to completely transform the halls of residence and create more than 750 rooms.
The complex would also include a new building incorporating kitchen facilities, a dining hall and server with seasonal public café, private dining room, cinema room, staff room, and other spaces.
The plans, which have been prepared for the university and Campus Living Villages by Jones Lang LaSalle, describe the current self-catering accommodation at Albany Park – which costs students £3,915 a year – as “unattractive and uninspiring”.
“Considering the age of the existing halls of residence, and the significant shift in student requirements and expectations since the 1970s, the redevelopment of Albany Park has been identified as an excellent opportunity to expand the University’s student accommodation offering, enhance the student experience and improve the quality of development in this area of the town,” the plans state.
“The development also supports a move to reducing the number of HMOs in the town freeing up this accommodation for other demographic groups while also supporting the need for the University of St Andrews growth strategy.”
The existing site is largely used for student accommodation but also provides administration, workshop and storage space for the university estates department in the former Woodburn Laundry building to the north east of the site.
The Woodburn complex has offices for 90 estates staff plus storage and workshops, although these offices are to be relocated elsewhere if the redevelopment is given the go ahead.
Plans say there will be 367 en suite bedrooms, 367 non-en suite bedrooms, five accessible bedrooms, 12 studio bedrooms, wardennial accommodation comprising a three bed flat, and amenity space.
There are also 107 car parking spaces, cycle spaces and extensive hard and soft landscaping, which will include work to uncover the St Nicholas Burn.
A flood risk assessment included in the application identified areas of the site that may be at risk of flooding from fluvial and coastal sources but flood mitigation measures have been included in the plans.
The Albany Park site has proved controversial of late after residents complained about the impact of work on the Gatty Marine construction site nearby.
Residents asked for rent abatement to compensate for the unexpected disturbances suffered throughout the year.