New student housing invades St Andrews

Students may not have to pay London rates after all.

Fife Council recently approved the planning application for private student halls. The 241-bedroom residence will be located on Abbey Walk, off South Street, and will replace the ‘Shutter Island’-esque Memorial Hospital.

It has been six years since any affordable housing unit was built in St Andrews, according to town councilor, Brian Thomson. For many people, the issues of student housing continues to be a pressing issue. Students’ Association President, Chloe Hill and town councilor, Dorothea Morrison, believe that the development of another hall will ease the pressure on students seeking private accommodation by improving the supply and demand ratio – there are apparently some 4,500 students in private houses in St Andrews.

However, not every response has been one of praise. The St Andrews Community Council is adamant that there is no further need for student housing and believe that the question of affordable family accommodation is far more urgent. Unfortunately, they did not expand their argument any further. Their challenge to this plan is simply that ‘we don’t need any more student housing’.

Although Fife Council has not yet defined the nature of this private hall, how it will function or what it will cost, proponents argue that it will alleviate the all-too-familiar fearful rush for housing year after year, leaving some unfortunates virtually homeless. Mr Thompson also explained that recent housing developments are either too expensive or reserved for those with special needs – so a new student hall will only do us good.

Is this one-off project a feasible solution to a sizeable problem or does St Andrews require a larger development in order to truly address the housing shortage? Comment below and let us know what you think.


Image courtesy of