St Andrews Property - home comforts

Posted: Mon 16th November 2015
By: Mark Alexander

It’s not often that a property development takes place within a wedge shot of the historic town centre of St Andrews. Not one to miss an opportunity, Mark Alexander took a look.

When the people of St Andrews heard about a new property development in the former playing fields of St Leonards school, they couldn’t help but sneak a peek. The interest surrounding the Georgian-styled townhouses grew to such a level that onlookers would seek out vantage points, peering over the wooden fence erected to shield the building work.    For Mary Grant, sales and marketing manager at Robertson Homes, the developer behind Abbey Park, something had to be done. “When I came out of the sales office, I would find people climbing up the railings to have a look. If nothing else, it was dangerous, so we drilled a couple of holes in the fence so people could see what was going on.”    What they saw was an impressive row of elegant townhouses set over three floors facing the grounds of Abbey Park, which is complete with an apple orchard and mature trees. Located just a few minutes' walk from St Andrews harbour, East Sands beach and the historic town centre, this was a development rarely seen in the Auld Grey Toon. No wonder the locals were curious.

PLAYING FIELDS. “These were the grounds of the school – the playing fields, the tennis courts and the orchard,” explains Grant. “It’s not often you come across a new property where you drive down a lovely avenue and it is so well established. It feels as if the properties have always been here because of the mature trees and landscaping.”    There is certainly a refined air about the place. The thirteen five-bedroom town houses and forty-nine apartments sit at the bottom of a gentle incline that is lined by established trees. Clearly, time has been spent creating an entrance that will impress both visitors and buyers, and the occasional inquisitive neighbour.    This is St Andrews after all – the Home of Golf and the setting of the third oldest university in the English-speaking world. This is a place full of history and beauty. The cathedral, which is a five-minute walk from Abbey Park, was built in 1158 and became the centre of the Medieval Catholic Church in Scotland. “St Andrews is unique,” says Grant simply.

PRIVATE GARDEN. The townhouses take this refined air and embellish it. The five-bedroom properties have a private, south-facing garden with a mews double garage which adds to the sophisticated feel. Inside, a chic layout creates a luxurious flow from reception room to snug and through to the enormous kitchen-dining room which boasts three ovens (including a steam oven) and a Quooker Fusion tap that delivers boiling water instantly.    You get the sense that this room has been carefully designed for both dinner parties and lazing around on a Sunday morning, catching up with the papers. You could imagine the three double doors, which open to the garden, letting in a gentle summer’s breeze and slightly ruffling the curtains as lunch is being prepared.    On the first floor, the space has been split between a capacious drawing room (21’11’’ x 17’1’’) echoing the kitchen below, two bedrooms and a shower room. Once again, there is a real sense of extravagance and purpose – the drawing room is equally suited for an evening drinks reception or lounging in front of the TV. Throughout, opportunities for dual-purpose usage are evident.    Finally, on the second floor, two further bedrooms share the space with a master bedroom that boasts a partitioned dressing room and an en-suite. A further bathroom completes the top floor which is connected to the lower levels via a wide staircase.    While the townhouses are certainly spacious, they have also been finished with care. The Leicht kitchen, complete with quartz worktops and integrated Siemens appliances, sets the tone. Underfloor heating in all four bathrooms, Villeroy & Boch sanitaryware and Hansgrohe taps provide a polished finish. An integrated alarm system and CCTV are provided for peace of mind.

DESIGNED TO ENJOY. Walking around the Abbey Park townhouses on Orchard Row, you get the sense that these properties have been specifically designed for people to enjoy. There is plenty of light and more than enough space to invite friends over for the weekend, and the public rooms are laid out for gatherings and conversation. It’s no wonder the neighbouring apartments were all but sold off-plan.    Positioning elegant townhouses and apartments close to the town centre of St Andrews was always going to be an attractive proposition for those seeking a base at the Home of Golf. What Robertson Homes has done is to take that concept and deliver it in a considered package that appeals to a wide and varied audience. So successful has the model been that at the recent Herald newspaper Property Awards, Orchard Row at Abbey Park picked up the best luxury home award, and was shortlisted for the Development of the Year.    With awards piling up, Grant believes there will be some early viewers who may be ruing the chance to buy in St Andrews. “Once the townhouses are sold,” she says, “I think there might be some people who came at the very start and didn’t want to live on a building site who are filled with regret about why they didn’t buy when they had the opportunity. You often get that, but particularly in a development like this because it is a one off. We won’t be building in St Andrews on this scale again.”

Good to know

Image of Camilla Kaas-Stock
By Mark Alexander


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