Green light for student accommodation after town’s housing stock reaches ‘unprecedented’ levels

PLANS for the build of a £70 million student accommodation complex in St Andrews have been approved by Fife Council.

The 681-bedroom development includes eight new buildings; a new facilities building for staff at the University of St Andrews; the build of a boat shed, a seasonal cafe and plant facilities; as well as a total of 108 car parking spaces.

The build comes as part of a £100 million investment into student accommodation by the university, after pressure on the town’s student accommodation housing stock reached ‘unprecedented’ levels – with the student population standing at 10,000 in 2020 – a 1,000 increase from the previous year.

Fife Council’s service manager, Alastair Hamilton, commented, “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 added, “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.”