Union redevelopment stalls over wildlife concerns

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The finalised plan for the new exterior of the Students' Association.
The finalised plan for the new exterior of the Students' Association.
The plan for the new exterior of the Students’ Association.

The redevelopment of the Students’ Association building has been halted after complaints from a local wildlife group that the proposed design could be harmful to the town’s seagulls.

As part of the alterations the front of the building will be replaced with glass panelling, which has led to concerns that too many birds will injure or kill themselves because they cannot see the barrier.

Mr Kite, spokesperson for the Committee for Avian Wellbeing (CAW), told The Saint: “Billions of birds die annually from colliding with glass windows and panels.

“It might be hard to swallow but St Andrews does have a thriving gull population. It is against the law to deliberately harm these birds and the Union must not duck responsibility.

“In this instance we do not welcome more transparency from the Students’ Association.”

It is illegal to intentionally harm or kill gulls as they are protected under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

Freddie Fforde, President of the Students’ Association, tweeted: “I hope for a swift resolution on this issue so that #redev can go ahead as planned.”

Union sources indicated that Fforde, who has previously declared his willingness to cover himself in birdseed in order to lure gulls away from the town, was desperately looking into all options available to him. These may include installing bird feeders around the building to slow down the gulls or converting the proposed ‘Sky Bar’ into a roost.

However, it is unclear whether he will be able to resolve the complaints before he hands over to President-elect Chloe Hill this summer.

Prominent campaigner J. H. ‘Kill the Gulls’ Ramsay said: “It’s common knowledge to those of us educated in avian psychology – seagulls can only be repelled through the sacrifice of Association Presidents. I just hope Chloe Hill can somehow save us. It will take a lot of luck, and a lot of determination on her part. The fate of the gulls is in her hands.”

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