Plans to build 17 flats to the north of St Nicholas House at Abbey Walk in St Andrews have been rejected, amid concerns the proposals were out of character with listed buildings in the area.
At a meeting of Fife Council’s north east Fife planning committee, St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson, seconded by Tay Bridgehead member Tim Brett, had moved approval of the proposal by Robertson Homes on the condition five affordable houses were completed as part of the development before anyone was allowed to move in elsewhere.
Mr Thomson liked the proposed traditional design of the flats and noted there had been no adverse comment from Historic Scotland or Fife Council’s built heritage officer.
But St Andrews member Dorothea Morrison, seconded by Howe of Fife councillor David MacDiarmid, successfully moved refusal by eight votes to five on the basis that too many properties were being “crammed” on to the site and did not enhance the listed buildings in the area.
She was also concerned by plans to fell protected trees, despite the applicant’s promise to replant.
St Andrews Community Council had opposed the plan on the basis that it was similar to a previous plan lodged by Knightsbridge Homes that was thrown out by Fife councillors because it was out of character with the historic surroundings. Knightsbridge appealed that refusal but this was rejected by a Scottish Government reporter.
In the design statement submitted to Fife Council, consultants Barton Wilmore had said there would be two blocks, one of which would be two storeys high and the other three storeys, including the penthouse.
The consultants said: “The proposed development has been designed to sit lightly at this gateway location, ensuring that the scale and density of proposed buildings is appropriately balanced with new and retained trees, landscaping and amenity areas.
“Our vision for this gateway site is to introduce a modest quantum of high-quality, contemporary residential accommodation, designed in a traditional manner.”