Since the application was submitted to Fife Council on 8th July, we have held 6 weeks of open days in Madras House, South Street and we have canvassed nearby residents in the immediate proximity to the site in order to inform them of our proposals and gather feedback.
The feedback from locals has been largely positive however we would like to use this platform to address some of the key concerns raised by locals on the project.
What exactly is the planning application for?
A planning application was lodged in July 2019 by CAF Properties (Aberdeen / St Andrews) to create a new, exciting modern care home consisting of 38 bedrooms with en suite facilities together with a variety of lounge/ leisure/ dining areas as yet unavailable in any other care home in St Andrews.
This application is based entirely on the move for current residents to 92 Hepburn Gardens for The William Gibson Trust and any future plans for Gibson House becoming a second Scotsman Hotel can only go ahead once they have secured their new purpose built facility at Hepburn Gardens, the freehold of which will be owned by the Trust and the facilities managed exactly as it is now.
What is the opportunity for Gibson House?
The William Gibson Trust have been looking for an alternative site for some 17 years with no joy. Should the planning application be successful, they will be able to deliver a high standard of care, in a fully tested, purpose built facility, for many more years to come. Upon completion of the development, the Trust will own the freehold of Hepburn Gardens and operate the care home exactly as it does now and will continue to deliver the best standard of care to their residents.
The William Gibson Trust is a body established in 1862 to help the elderly of St Andrews and wider Fife. As such they certainly have the experience, quality of staff and qualifications to ensure that residents are looked after in their existing premises, however they are restricted in their current facility in terms of space and as such are unable to offer what many consider standard modern day requirements such as en suite facilities in each bedroom.
How will you tackle the traffic issues around the care home?
If the care home is approved and before the main contractor is appointed we will be instructing a specialist stonemason to remove the existing pillars by hand, set aside same then remove the balance of walling to create an opening of 8.8m in width. This will delete any problems in respect of the largest of vehicles entering and existing the site. The pillar will be rebuilt at the completion of the contract.
As part of the conditionality with the main contractor, the developer will be insisting that they appoint a watchman whose sole job is to control all contractors traffic movements and there will also be a blanket ban on any vehicle parking on Hepburn Gardens. As part of that process, they will have to ensure that no vehicles are parked on either side of the road by way of positioning cones to allow the safe access and exit of all contractors vehicles during the construction process. All vehicles will have to park on the south lawn which will be protected with metal decking. Space will be allocated for at least 20 medium to large vehicles at any one time in that area.
What is G1 Involvement / The Scotsman?
G1 Group is delighted to be partnering with The William Gibson Trust on this project. The company is committed to delivering a new care home facility for the current residents and providing a modern facility however a new Scotsman Hotel at Gibson House can only happen on receipt of successful planning consent for the development of 92 Hepburn Gardens as a care home facility.
The Scotsman is a world renowned hotel, therefore the decision to grow the brand and more importantly, choose the correct location, wasn’t taken lightly. Gibson House in St Andrews emulates the historic setting of its current location in Edinburgh. The Scotsman Hotel - St Andrews, would bring an investment of up to £12m to the town and would create more than 40 local jobs.
The G1 Group is Scotland’s largest and most diversified hospitality group, with a collection of over 50 venues in Glasgow, Edinburgh, St Andrews, Aberdeen, Perth and Dundee. G1 Group already has a strong presence in St Andrews through its operation of Mitchell's, Forgan's and The Doll's House restaurants. The G1 Group’s varied collection of units includes restaurants, events spaces, hotels, cinemas and bars. Whilst their portfolio is truly diverse in terms of offer, there is one thing that many of the venues have in common- the extraordinary listed buildings they are housed in. G1 has developed a special interest in the restoration and rejuvenation of listed buildings, particularly those with significant historical or architectural significance.