Revised plans for 748-bed purpose-built student accommodation in Albany Park

The University of St Andrews has submitted revised plans to provide purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) at Albany Park - to ease pressure on the town’s housing stock.

Proposed PBSA development, Albany Park at the University of St Andrews | PBSA News
Proposed PBSA development, Albany Park at the University of St Andrews.

The revised plans will see a 748-bed purpose-built student accommodation (PBSA) development at Albany Park, which is the centrepiece of a £100m investment in student accommodation by the University. It will create 1000 new bedrooms over and above the 4000 that the University already provides.

The Albany Park development is a collaboration between the University and Campus Living Villages (CLV) – a global student accommodation provider. The development forms part of a strategic partnership where CLV fund the scheme over a 50-year period.

The University’s strategy sets out a commitment to reducing its impact on the town, through the provision of PBSA which is operated and managed by the University.

The development will relieve some pressure on the local housing stock in St Andrews, where there’s a shortage of suitable purpose-built and affordable student accommodation. Half of the student beds will be affordable accommodation.

“The development at Albany Park is central to the University’s strategy to provide more student accommodation for our students and ease the pressure on the housing stock in St Andrews.

“The new Albany Park will provide around 750 high-quality student beds in an attractive landscaped environment and has the potential to revitalise the eastern area of St Andrews.”

Ben Stuart, Director of Residential and Business Services, University of St Andrews

The planning application was submitted in October 2019. The design team has since reviewed the plans in response to feedback from consultees, internal and external to Fife Council, as well as members of the public and local stakeholder groups.

Proposed PBSA development - car parking view, University of St Andrews
Proposed PBSA development – car parking view, University of St Andrews

The revised plans

The new proposals now represent significant, positive changes in response to the feedback, which include:

  • A reduction in the overall number of student beds proposed, from 900 in October 2019 to 748 – nearly a 20% reduction.
  • Reducing the scale, height and mass of buildings – and on some buildings, dropping by one floor.
  • Significant changes to the design of the buildings – and introducing more pitched roof details and additional gables so it reflects the prominent St Andrews historic architecture.
  • More space for landscaping and the creation of the historic Woodburn Square which dates back some hundred years since it was first formed. Reducing the number of beds has allowed for more space for this.

“Any increase in the provision of affordable purpose-built student accommodation is good for students and is good for St Andrews as a whole.

“I look forward to working with the University to make sure that this new accommodation meets student needs when it comes to affordability and helps relieve pressure on the St Andrews housing market.”

Dan Marshall, Student Association President, University of St Andrews