Plans have been approved for the new Levenmouth secondary school – as have proposals to close the two existing high schools in the area.
Fife Council’s central area planning committee unanimously supported the plans for the new school at their meeting last Wednesday.
The day before, the Council’s executive committee accepted proposals to close Buckhaven High School and Kirkland High School and Community College, rezoning the catchment areas for both to the new Levenmouth school.
A planning application for a new college building, which will be built on the same campus as the new school, was also submitted earlier this month.
Council leader David Ross said: “This is an important step on the journey to what we want to see in Levenmouth, with the school, college and employers coming together to provide the best possible provision for young people – and older people – in the area.
“I hope this is something we can replicate in other parts of Fife.”
The new Levenmouth High School will be able to accommodate up to 1800 pupils and will be erected on the south-east corner of the current Buckhaven High School campus, on land currently used as playing fields.
When the existing Buckhaven High on the northern part of the site is demolished, this land will be used for sports pitches.
When complete, there will be five grass pitches and one all-weather sports pitch.
Contractors are already on site, having been previously granted permission to carry out some of the preliminary work ahead of construction.
Prior to agreeing the closure of the existing schools, the Council was required to carry out a statutory consultation.
The results indicated the majority of respondents were in favour of closing the schools if a new Levenmouth High was built.
There was 75 per cent support for the closure of Buckhaven High, and 67 per cent support for the closure of Kirkland High and the community college.
Councillor Peter Grant, SNP group leader, welcomed the support for the new school.
He said: “Building on the site of one of the two schools might have been viewed as contentious, but I’m pleased to see the majority of people have accepted that.
“The nightmare scenario would have been for everyone at Buckhaven to be in favour and everyone at Kirkland to be against, but it appears they are both heading in the same direction.”
Independent Levenmouth councillor Andrew Rodger expressed his delight that the whole project was coming together.
“This will be of huge benefit to Levenmouth, providing opportunities for our young people and helping tackle deprivation in the area.
“I’d like to thank everyone involved for the time and effort they have put into this, and I can assure everyone the eight councillors in Levenmouth will work closely together to make sure this comes to fruition.”
The new Levenmouth High School is scheduled to open in August 2016.