Labour candidate urges STEPAL to drop appeal

St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson wants to see the plans for the new Madras College at Pipeland Farm become reality as soon as possible.
St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson wants to see the plans for the new Madras College at Pipeland Farm become reality as soon as possible.

Labour election candidate Brian Thomson has urged St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) to drop its latest legal action against plans for a new school at Pipeland.

STEPAL is appealing against the decision to dismiss the judicial review of the planning decision for the new Madras College at Pipeland, on the outskirts of St Andrews.

I would urge STEPAL, even at this late stage, to recondiser, and withdraw an appeal that would have damaging consequences.

Councillor Brian Thomson

The St Andrews councillor acknowledged STEPAL had the right to appeal, but insisted that was quite different from it being the right thing to do.

Mr Thomson said: “As a parent of three school-age children, I have spoken to a number of parents since hearing about the latest move by the three individuals that make up STEPAL and, like me, they are – to put it mildly – extremely angry at what appears to be a blatant attempt to, once again, delay the construction of a desperately needed new Madras College at the Pipeland site.

“The proposal has received majority backing from the public at both the educational consultation and planning application stages, then a judge unequivocally dismissed the judicial review. Having worked as a town planner, I’ve read quite a few such judgements, and I’ve never read one quite so damning as that which dismissed STEPAL’s case.”

He added: “Given the terrible condition of the existing buildings at South street and Kilrymont – which the three former teachers who make up STEPAL are fully aware of – the huge waste of taxpayers money that this on-going delay is costing, and the simple fact that no other suitable site is available in or around St Andrews, it is essential that the Council is allowed to proceed with the development of the new school at the Pipeland site as soon as possible.

“As a parent, a former Madras College pupil, and a St Andrean who wants the best possible educational facilities for local children and young people, I would urge STEPAL, even at this late stage, to reconsider, and withdraw an appeal that would have damaging consequences.”