The ST Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited

The Association has been set up with the aim of protecting the environment of St Andrews and North East Fife.

West Port Bar Garden

STEPAL response to Planning Application: 16/03072/FULL and 16/03071/LBC

 


Dear Sirs,

Planning Application 16/03072/FULL and Listed Building Consent 16/03071

We wish to object to these applications.

The description of this proposed development: 'CHANGE OF USE OF GARDEN GROUND, ALTERATIONS TO AND RE-POSITIONING OF COVERED OUTDOOR DINING AREA WITH RETRACTABLE ROOF, INTERNAL ALTERATIONS TO EXISTING BAR' while omitting the previous misleading statement that it was a “pergola” hardly gives fair notice that what is proposed is the creation of a 112-seat outdoor dining and drinking area, in substitution for the previous 32 seat area, subject of a Discontinuance Order because of the seriously adverse environmental and amenity issues it caused for neighbours.

It would not be surprising if neighbours in West Port and John Coupar Court were misled into thinking that this was a minor and benign proposal and they could be unaware of the serious difficulties experienced by neighbours when the motorised roof, lights and hearing were located in a different part of the applicants garden ground.

It is our view that this application fails to meet the policy requirements that all development in the Conservation Area preserves and enhances the character or appearance of the Conservation Area. Neither can it be described as preserving the surrounding (listed) buildings, or their setting. Clearly such a structure and its intended purpose of providing an outdoor drinking and eating area serving large numbers of customers at unspecified hours and throughout the year, cannot be regarded as making a positive contribution to its immediate environment.

We believe that there is more than adequate evidence, based on the previous use of this structure in another part of the garden, that it would have seriously adverse environmental effects on the residents of neighbouring properties.

It has previously been established in the report of the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman, informed by their Planning Adviser, that the structure which the applicant proposes to re-locate in another part of the garden had been incorrectly assessed by the planning officer as not having any impact on the wider Conservation Area. Further he concluded that this statement showed a lack of regard for the character of the area which is bounded on three sides by residential properties.

The noise and nuisance caused by large numbers of people eating and drinking in an outdoor area, designed to be used for extended periods during the day time and night-time, and presumably because of the proposal to have heating and lighting, for an extended season and during the hours of darkness, must have a serious adverse effect on residential amenity for those living in adjacent residential properties. Therefore, there can be no justification for such a proposed development which would so clearly have a serious adverse impact on residential amenity as the Central St Andrews Conservation Area continues to have a significant resident population.

We note that Scottish Planning Policy requires all development to be sustainable, and this definition includes social sustainability. It is important to maintain a viable community in the town centre, and not to permit changes which would drive away the residents who provide pride of place and maintain their (often historic) properties.

Inappropriate commercial development with seriously adverse effects on residential amenity, such as this proposal, would not only be contrary to policy, but also have seriously adverse social effects which would be impossible to reverse.

Because of all the above issues, STEPAL recommends that this Planning Application and the Listed Building Consent Application should be refused.

Yours sincerely,

Sandra Thomson

Secretary, STEPAL.

13th October 2016
 

 

 

Stepal further response to Planning Application 17/01067/LBC


Planning and Listed Building Consent Application 17/01067/LBC,
West Port Hotel, South Street, St Andrews.

Following our objection (on 13/10/16) to the prior planning application, the St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL), wishes to object to the current follow-up planning application for the same address as detailed above. We consider that changing the location of the proposed extension from one side to the other of the back exterior rigg or garden ground will not ameliorate the proposal. In fact, the new proposed development would appear to be closer to even more neighbouring residential properties (the flats of Westport Court) and would therefore cause noise nuisance to even more local people than the previous planning application which was refused. The new proposed development would be similarly inappropriate for a Conservation Area such as that of central St Andrews, would adversely affect the surrounding listed buildings and would create adverse visual impact.

Our main objections are:

  1. This proposed development fails to meet the policy requirements that all development in the Conservation Area preserve and enhance its appearance. – Policies E7 and E8 of the St Andrews and Fife Local Plan. Such a structure and its intended purpose of providing an outdoor eating and drinking area serving large numbers of customers (more apparently than the original application not upheld) at unspecified hours throughout the year cannot be regarded as making a positive contribution to its immediate environment. Were permission to be given for evening use, the addition of light pollution would seriously affect the surroundings.
     

  2. The noise and consequent nuisance caused by large numbers of people eating and drinking in such an outdoor area would have serious adverse effects on the residential amenity for those living in adjacent residential properties – contravening Policy 10 of FIFEplan. Scottish Planning Policy requires all development to be sustainable and this definition includes social sustainability. In St Andrews, it is vital a viable residential community in the town centre and not to drive away residents who provide pride of place and maintain their attractive and historic properties.

There can surely be no justification for such a proposed development which would clearly have a major adverse environmental impact on the central St Andrews Conservation Area and on the amenity of neighbouring properties.

For the above reasons, STEPAL recommends that this planning application should be refused.



Yours sincerely,

Sandra Thomson, Secretary, STEPAL.


 

 



Contact Details:

Association Chairman
 
chair@stepal.org
 
Association Secretary
 
secretary@stepal.org
 
Association Treasurer
 
funds@stepal.org
 

 

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