Council to assess other sites for new Madras College

Will the new Madras College be built at Pipeland - or another site in or around St Andrews?
Will the new Madras College be built at Pipeland - or another site in or around St Andrews?
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Fife Council will look again at possible alternative sites for a new Madras College.

But the current planning application for a new school at Pipeland still remains ‘live’.

The council’s executive committee met today (Tuesday) to decide its next move following an appeal court judgement earlier this year that quashed the decision taken in May 2014 by the full council to grant planning permission in principle for a new Madras College at Pipeland on the outskirts of St Andrews.

Although the council – as planning authority – decided not to appeal the court’s latest decision, the education and children’s services directorate – the applicant – has indicated it wants the planning application to be reconsidered.

So as part of the reconsideration process, possible alternative locations will be examined.

Councillors at today’s meeting agreed to note “the intention of the education and children’s services directorate, on behalf of the education authority, to pursue the planning application for the Pipeland site”, but they also asked that the directorate to “undertake reassessment and give due consideration to all identified sites and all others that might be put forward”.

Council leader David Ross said: “The Pipeland application remains ‘live’ and we will continue to do the work to take that forward.

“Part of that work will entail re-assessing all the other possible sites and any others brought forward. If that throws up something to change our approach, then we will look at it and it will be brought back to this committee.”

A number of committee members suggested the existing application should be dropped and the whole process started again from scratch.

But depute leader Lesley Laird, backed by the council’s legal advisors, said continuing with the ‘live’ application gave the process a “bit of a kick-start”. However, she stressed the process would include Pipeland being assessed against other sites.

Cllr Laird added: “There are a number of factors in play, but it doesn’t stop us going forward just now.”

St Andrews councillor Dorothea Morrison said she believed there were other “viable sites”, and Alastair Crockett, religious representative, suggested the option of a school in the Tay Bridgehead area should be looked at again.

In the meantime, a significant programme of maintenance and improvements will be carried out at the existing Madras College buildings at Kilrymont and in South Street.