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New student accommodation plans unveiled

The University of St Andrews has unveiled plans for a new student accommodation development.

The proposals, which were discussed at a public meeting last week (Wednesday 20 June 2001), will be phased in over the next few years and will affect only the site which currently houses halls of residence David Russell Hall and Fife Park. A masterplan for the development was submitted to the local authority this week but the initial planning application relates to phase one only which, if approved, would be restricted to the vacant land to the east of David Russell Hall. Phase one relates to the construction of three and four storey flats (the same height as the existing buildings), each containing five en-suite bedrooms with internet and telephone access, kitchen, lounge and dining room. It is hoped that this phase, providing 235 bed spaces, would be completed by the autumn of 2002.

The proposed development will be enhanced by high-quality landscaping and the preservation of the existing tree belt where possible, complementing the informal theme of the scheme. There will also be an on-site social amenity area, comprising of a bistro and shop(s), together with communal facilities. In a bid to help achieve the University’s long-term aim of reducing car use among students, parking facilities will be complemented by improved cycle storage facilities, upgraded pedestrian areas and a dedicated and discrete pick-up point for a shuttle bus to the town centre.

Through the University’s involvement with the Forum for the Future and Hospitable Climate initiatives, it is acutely aware of environmental responsibilities and will embody these in the design of the residence. Indeed, the University’s design team is actively exploring alternative construction methods with the aim of minimising potential disturbance to its students and immediate neighbours.

The unveiling of the plans is the latest stage in a feasibility study which was launched last year in response to views which the University had received from its students and staff, together with its assessment of the impact of standards dictated by new legislation relating to student accommodation. Through the implementation of such plans, the University seeks to ensure that its students have access to modern and well-equipped accommodation and the latest information technology facilities. The proposed development will also present a unique opportunity to provide adapted accommodation for students with special needs.

David Loudon, Director of Estates and Buildings said, “These plans are exciting and inspiring but can only proceed upon the basis of close consultation with all appropriate bodies which will ensure that any new development is aesthetically pleasing, sensitively planned to improve the environmental quality of the area and coherently phased to create a development of which the University and town can be proud.”

Meanwhile, Roger Smith, Director of Residential and Business Services said, “The proposed development is part of the University’s long-term vision of providing the best student residential system in the UK while continuing to achieve best value for money for the institution and its students. We hope that the development, together with the proposed facilities, will enhance the students’ sense of community on the site and we are confident that, by consulting all relevant individuals and groups from the outset, we can achieve these aims, while relieving pressure on the town’s private/rented sector.”

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07730 415 015 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: west- plans/standrews/chg/28june2001

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