Pipeland is wrong site for new school, says independent candidate

Independent candidate Mike Scott-Hayward says Pipeland is the wrong location for a school.
Independent candidate Mike Scott-Hayward says Pipeland is the wrong location for a school.

Independent candidate for North East Fife Mike Scott-Hayward insists Pipeland is the wrong site for a new secondary school.

And he supports St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) in its appeal against the decision to dismiss the judicial review of the planning decision for the new Madras College at Pipeland.

A school in the Green Belt, in a confined space, next to a hospital, which it will landlock, with a wholly unacceptable transport configuration, is not the right answer.

Mike Scott-Hayward

He said that for years the Liberal Democrats campaigned for a Tay Bridgehead school to relieve pressure in St Andrews, and the Conservatives shared that view.

During his time both as a Conservative and in UKIP, he took that view too, and he hasn’t changed his stance.

Mr Scott-Hayward blamed the current “mess” over the choice of site in St Andrews on the Lib Dems, saying that when they held the reins on Fife Council, they reneged on the idea of a Tay Bridgehead school.

And he recalled: “When we had a campaign for a new hospital in St Andrews there was near chaos on choosing a site for it.

“I, as a councillor and a PPC at the time, suggested, in discussion with the NHS, that the Green Belt could be breached for that hospital, and for that alone, and that they should plump for the site at Pipelands. “That was right, the site was agreed, and the hospital is in the right place.

“However, Pipeland is not the right place for the school. Nothing those who waver on the lines of ‘let it all now be forgotten’ can say can make it right.

“The politicians who promised so much, who broke with their decades of pledges, who tried to talk turkey with the university, got it all wrong.

“A school in the Green Belt, in a confined space, next to a hospital, which it will landlock, with a wholly unacceptable transport configuration, is not the right answer.

“I do not move from where I stood; a Tay Bridgehead School first, proper catchment areas second, refurbished Madras for St Andrews third and finally releasing the asset value of Kilrymont towards paying for it all. “Is it too late? Is it now too much of a mess? Does using the wrong site blighting a hospital work?

“STEPAL are within their rights, whereas an intransigent Council and unworthy politicians are not. Effectively, we are still on the starting line.”