MOST people who attended a public meeting in Burntisland don’t think Toll Park site is right for a new primary school.
Around 80 per cent of more than 200 local residents who went to the meeting at Burntisland Parish Church hall last Friday voted against the site which is Fife Council’s preferred option.
After a lively and at times heated debate lasting two hours, it was unanimously agreed that there was an overwhelming need for a new school in Burntisland.
However, major concerns were raised about both the proposed site at Toll Park and the consultation process which has been followed to date.
Alex MacDonald, chairman of Burntisland Community Council, who chaired the meeting, said: “Those attending were on the whole very well-informed.
‘‘They had family members attending the school, or had attended the school as children, or had viewed the information which was recently on public display.
“In all, more than 30 different people addressed the meeting.”
He explained that the most important recurring theme was the impact of building on a green site which is public open space.
A second theme was that Fife Council had chosen the Toll Park site prematurely, with inadequate consultation on the alternatives.
A third was concern about road safety at that location.
He added: “As far as the Community Council is concerned, we will be asking Fife Council to look long and hard at their decisions to date.
‘‘In particular, we will ask them to re-open the consideration of other sites, as we believe there are two or three others which should have been given more serious consideration.
“Individual speakers supported the Lammerlaws site as an alternative, with two other sites also being mentioned.
‘’There was a general feeling that the selection process had not fairly reflected the desire to protect our green spaces and that the criteria should be changed.
“In our formal report on the consultation, the Community Council will therefore advise on the selection criteria which we believe would more fairly reflect the desires of people in the town.”
Mr MacDonald explained that the report would go to Fife Council before the November 11 deadline and will be publicly available.
As part of the statutory process, Fife Council would then respond and all of the consultation documents reviewed by Education Scotland. Only then will a final decision be taken by Fife Council.
“There was a huge amount of energy in the meeting – and a determination on the part of all concerned to get the best result for Burntisland,” he added. People spoke earnestly in support of one view or the other, making the whole debate vibrant and dynamic. The end result was clear.
‘‘We do have to respect the views of those who support the Toll Park option but the vast majority want an entirely different solution.”