Proposals to create new student housing next to East Sands have finally been approved by Fife Council, paving the way for work to begin on the 135-room development on the site of the existing Wonder Years Nursery.

Previously, councillors for the North East Fife Area Committee voted 11 to three against the proposals as they felt that the development was not sympathetic to the local environment.

The company behind the project, Alumno Developments, specialise in building high-quality student accommodation and they identified a demand for an alternative to the traditional private housing in the town. The University can accommodate around 3,500 students but around 5,000 full time students must seek private accommodation each year. This makes the private rental market very competitive.

The plans are for a private hall with 135 bedrooms, which would be built near the Fife Coastal Path and Albany Park.

The East Sands development will be run in a similar way to University halls of residence, with a wardennial team and 24/7 help and support for residents.

David Campbell, the managing director of Alumno Developments said: “We are delighted to have been given the green light by local councillors, who played a key role in helping us to hone this important development to suit such a special location in St Andrews.

“We are now hard at work to ensure we can start on the site within the next two months with a view to completing the development in the summer of 2016, ready for the 2016/17 academic year.

We anticipate rents to be competitive and we are confident that the demand for rooms in this unique location will be strong.”

Alumno developments estimate that the project will bring around 25 jobs to the town, which would also provide affordable student housing and reduce pressures in the private housing market in St Andrews.

The building, designed by award-winning architects, also includes a new children’s nursery to replace the existing Wonder Years Nursery.

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