ST Andrews Environmental
The Association has been set up
with the aim of protecting the environment of St Andrews and North East
West Port Bar Garden
STEPAL response to
Planning Application: 16/03072/FULL and 16/03071/LBC
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
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)
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.
13th October 2016
Stepal further response to Planning Application
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:
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
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
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.
Sandra Thomson, Secretary, STEPAL.