Council ready to forge ahead with new Madras

Artist's impression of the new Madras College at Pipeland.
Artist's impression of the new Madras College at Pipeland.
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Fife Council has confirmed its commitment to a new Madras College at Pipeland and given an assurance that work will begin as soon as the legal go ahead is given.

Work on the the new school project has stopped as the council awaits the outcome of a full appeal hearing lodged by campaign group STEPAL.

A legal challenge by STEPAL was dismissed earlier this year. The group are, however, appealing that decision and a procedural hearing will take place on July 17 to determine if the appeal is ready to be taken forward to a full hearing next year.

If the appeal is not upheld Fife Council will be ready to begin work immediately.

That’s the assurance that’s been given by Derek Brown, Head of Education, who said: “I want to reassure everyone we have the planning permission needed to commence work as soon as the legal challenge is resolved. While our plans may have been put on hold, the necessary background work has been done and our teams are prepared to pick things up again as soon as the judicial process is complete and permission is given to continue.”

The full appeal hearing will be the next stage in what has been a long and lengthy process which began with a consultation of all pupils and staff of Madras and its feeder primary schools.

Mr Brown continued: “I’d like to stress that pupils and staff have been involved in this process from the beginning. The majority of responses to that consultation were in favour of building a new school at Pipeland.

“As in any consultation there were those who did not get the outcome they wanted but that is the case in any democratic process. They had the opportunity to make their voices and opinions know during the planning application process which followed.

“I know from being in and around the school that the mood of the majority of pupils and staff is that they just want the school to be built as soon as possible.”

According to the Council a consultation of pupils, staff and parents in 2013 received 2726 responses - and indicated a total of 78 per cent were in favour of the current proposal.

This was broken down as follows:

• 80% of Madras parents in favour.

• 87% of parents with children in catchment primary schools in favour.

• 83% of current Madras pupils in favour.

• 95% of future Madras pupils in favour.

• 73% of Madras staff in favour.

• 48% of non-statutory respondents in favour.