New school at Pipeland is desperately needed, says Lib Dem candidate

Councillor Tim Brett is very disappointed at STEPAL's decision to appeal.
Councillor Tim Brett is very disappointed at STEPAL's decision to appeal.

Tim Brett, Liberal Democrat candidate for North East Fife, is surprised and very disappointed a further legal challenge has been mounted against the plans for a new school at Pipeland.

The St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) is appealing against the decision by a judge to dismiss the judicial review of the planning decision for a new Madras College at Pipeland on the edge of St Andrews.

Mr Brett, a councillor in Tay Bridgehead and leader of Fife Council’s Liberal Democrat group, said he met the Council’s chief legal officer a couple of weeks ago and was told that Lord Doherty’s decision to dismiss the judicial review was one of the strongest judgements he had seen.

He added that he found it hard to accept that STEPAL really cared about its stated aim of ensuring all pupils in the St Andrews area enjoy an excellent educational experience.

“I and may others have been working on this for 12 years,” he said. “My three children went to Madras College and I know how desperately we need a new school.

“I’m not sure if the three directors of STEPAL, all former teachers at Madras, have been inside the current school buildings recently and witnessed the conditions the pupils and their former colleagues are having to work under.

“There is an urgent need for this new school.”

Mr Brett accepted there was not a perfect site in St Andrews, but Pipeland was the best option.

“I accept it is in the Green Belt and, ideally, we should not be looking at building there, but we have to weigh that up against coming up with a new school for our children which is desperately needed – and the need for a new school has to be paramount.”

He said he expected the Council to be making early decisions to see what needed to be done to ensure the new school could be built at Pipeland as soon as possible.