Plans approved for Albany Park student accommodation
Plans for a new University of St Andrews 681-bedroom student accommodation complex overlooking the East Sands at Albany Park have been approved by Fife Council.
The £70 million development includes eight new buildings, a new facilities building for University staff, the erection of a boat shed, a seasonal café and plant facilities, as well as a total of 108 parking spaces, around 77 of which will be for non-staff use.
Nearly 400 cycle storage spaces are also planned and the University has agreed to fund a £5000 feasibility study to assess the creation of future cycle routes in the area.
At a meeting of Fife Council’s north east planning committee on Wednesday 14 January 2020, Fife Council service manager Alastair Hamilton said that officers had concluded that the net benefit of the proposal outweighed any potential negative impacts.
He said: “Those in support say it would take pressure off of local housing stock and make use of under-utilised space away from the town centre, and offer employment opportunities.
“There have been concerns expressed about the scale and density. They’ve been covered within the report. The existing buildings were nothing special and quite ugly, and would be replaced with something much more contemporary.”
SNP councillor David MacDiarmid said: “I fully welcome this application. I think there’s a lot of work gone into it to make the thing work.
“I hope that in the event of this accommodation block being full, it will free up some family homes in the town.”
There is currently a freeze on residential homes in central St Andrews being turned into houses in multiple occupation (HMOs).
Conservative councillor Tony Miklinski welcomed the proposals, saying: “I think it’s amazing the way this complex has been designed, to make it appear absorbed into the existing landscape.”
University Quaestor and Factor Derek Watson said: “This is great news for the University, our students and the community.
“The development is central to the University’s strategy to provide more student accommodation for our students and ease the pressure on the housing stock in St Andrews.
“The new Albany Park will provide new student accommodation of the highest quality in an attractive landscaped environment and has the potential to revitalise the eastern area of St Andrews.”
The plans had been opposed by 38 objectors including the local community council.
For more information, contact the University of St Andrews press office.