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October 21 2014
Plans to erect a visitor centre at West Sands beach, St Andrews, have been dealt a blow after planners rejected the application following objections from golfers on the adjacent Old Course.
Designed by Arc Architects and David Narro Associates on behalf of Fife Coast Countryside Trust the scheme aims to provide public facilities for beachgoers alongside information and interpretation highlighting conservation and biodiversity of the landscape.
The £1.6m facility would have simulated a sand dune in terms of form and planting to replace an unholy triumvirate of café, toilet block and beach maintenance block which the general public must put up with currently – described by project architect Tom Morton as ‘decrepit, third world facilities.’
In their design statement Arc contested that: ”The form is curvilinear, reminiscent of waves or shells, with the rear ‘shell’ embedded into the new ‘dune’ bank that forms the western edge to the new picnic.
area. The front ‘shell’ faces towards the dunes, with a glazed façade providing a view from first floor exhibition area, and visual links from the café to the recreational area.
“Between the two ‘shells’ there are glazed areas with revolving doors, forming the principal access points on the north and south.”
The decision follows Fife Council’s decision to approve a separate facility for the British Golf Museum which will itself overlook West Sands beach.