Developers lodge appeal to build flats next to iconic St Andrews golf course
Athole Reid and Gillian Asplin had aspired to build "the Fairways" – a block of four three and four-storey homes – on land occupied by a house at the junction of the Links and Gibson Place.
While Fife Council planners recommended approval, councillors on the North East Planning Committee voted in October to refuse them, citing concerns over a reduction in flood plains and a negative impact on the "iconic" Old Course links and the 700-year-old Swilcan Bridge.
The pair has filed an appeal with Scottish ministers to overturn a refusal by councillors to allow the development to proceed.
In a 52-page appeal statement prepared by agents Iceni Projects, Mr Reid and Ms Asplin say "care and attention" has been lavished on the project – and dismissed concerns over the look of the homes as evidence of the "objective" nature of architectural design.
They said the project satisfies local planning policy and flood risk assessments.
Objections to the design, they said, were "unjustifiable", as planners went as far as to encourage them to add an extra storey to one dwelling in pre-application discussions.
The statement read: "This [development] will add vibrancy and vitality of the surrounding townscape and will enhance the character of the surrounding conservation area and listed buildings, as well as the historic Links which the site overlooks.
"The design has been well-considered and is of the highest quality, which will ensure the development integrates successfully with the surrounding townscape, and the character of the conservation area and other nearby heritage designations."
Comments submitted by 38 objectors described the plans as an "eyesore", "anachronistic" compared with the 19th-century Victorian style homes nearby and an "unsightly blemish".
However, the vision won support from 18 others, including the St Andrews Preservation Trust, which described the homes as "inspirational".
The architectural practice behind the Fairways, Sutherland Hussey Harris, won an award for its West Burn Lane development also in St Andrews.
The Fairways appeal has been accepted by the Scottish Government's Planning and Environmental Appeals Division.
A decision is expected in April.