STEPAL to lodge appeal in further bid to block new Madras College at Pipeland

STEPAL has indicated it plans to take further legal action to prevent a new school being built at Pipeland.
STEPAL has indicated it plans to take further legal action to prevent a new school being built at Pipeland.

A group opposed to Fife Council’s plans to build a new secondary school at Pipeland on the outskirts of St Andrews has revealed it will mount a further legal challenge.

The Council was advised earlier today (Tuesday) that St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) will be lodging an appeal against the judgement of Lord Doherty to dismiss the Judicial Review of the planning decision for the new Madras Secondary School at Pipelands.

Fife Council is absolutely determined to push on with the replacement of the current Madras facilities with the much needed, new purpose built school at Pipelands

Council leader David Ross

Council Leader David Ross said: “This is a huge disappointment for us at Fife Council but more importantly it will be a huge disappointment for the parents and the children who we know were looking forward to entering a new school in 2017.

“I understand that the appeal will be lodged by Friday, but we have no indication as yet of the grounds for the appeal.

“The judgement by Lord Doherty strongly supported the Council’s position on this matter and the view we received from our legal and planning advisors was that the judgement left little or no grounds for appeal.

“It is my view that STEPAL are now just out to delay proceedings in the hope that Fife Council will somehow give up on building a new school in St Andrews.

“I want to be very clear to STEPAL and their financial backers that Fife Council is absolutely determined to push on with the replacement of the current Madras facilities with the much needed, new purpose built school at Pipelands.

“We will be exploring every option to have this appeal dealt with as speedily as possible and we will be pursuing STEPAL vigorously for full reimbursement of the costs associated with this process.”

Councillor Bryan Poole, Fife Council’s Education Portfolio Holder, described STEPAL’s decision to appeal as a “sad day for education in the Madras College catchment area”.

However, he remained “certain” a new Madras College would be built at Pipeland.

“Why am I certain? Because there is no other suitable site that is available to build the kind of school which we believe the young people of this area deserve,” said Cllr Poole.

“That is the view of Fife Council, of the Scottish Government, of Lord Doherty and of the overwhelming majority of pupils, parents and the wider community.

“STEPAL must know they are out of step with the majority opinion. Isn’t it time they accepted this?”