North Fife councillor’s Madras site concerns

Councillor Tim Brett
Councillor Tim Brett
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THE councillor representing Tay Bridgehead has urged caution over the crunch decision about where to site the proposed new secondary school in St Andrews.

Liberal Democrat Tim Brett says parents need more information before backing the Fife Council executive’s plans to build the school on green belt land at Pipeland, to the eastern side of the town.

Education spokesman Bryan Poole has said he believes the site represents the best location for building a spacious, modern school and has called on the local community to support him in the hope of bringing what has been a long-running saga to conclusion.

He wants to see a new school up and running by August 2016, modelled on the new £40 million school that has recently opened in Dunfermline.

The other, less favoured, site earmarked by the Labour-controlled executive is at Petheram Bridge, on the other side of town.

However, speaking this week, Councillor Brett said that parents in the Madras College catchment area had not had enough information about the advantages and drawbacks of each site.

He said that two meetings held by the Parent Council, while worthwhile, were only attended by 16 people in Tay Bridgehead and 24 in St Andrews.

INFORMATION

“There needs to be much more information provided about both sites before a decision can be reached,” said Councillor Brett.

“The major problem with the Pipeland site is that it is designated as green belt and we need written information from planning officials about the potential risks in terms of getting planning permission.

“Many will also worry that if it was approved it could pave the way for further housing development.

“In addition, Pipeland is on the wrong side of town for the majority of pupils as more than half come from north of the Eden.

“The Petheram Bridge site would avoid buses having to go through the town as well as make it easier to develop working links with St Andrews University.

“On the other hand, the Petheram Bridge site would mean creating a car park to replace the one already in existence and I am disappointed that the council haven’t done any work on that.

“I just don’t feel we have enough information to make a decision and I would hope that further meetings can be arranged for as soon as possible.”