Unite round Toll Park

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Have your say

Burntisland’s new primary school will be built on the East Toll Park.

Members of Fife Council’s education and children’s services committee endorsed the proposals to progress with the project on the controversial site at a recent meeting.

Councillors made their decision after hearing the results of a public consultation showed members of the public were in favour of the proposal by two to one.

Of the 848 responses received, 67.4 per cent supported the relocation from Ferguson Place to a new build at East Toll Park.

Now a decision has been made, officers can start working on the £12.4 million project, scheduled for completion in August 2014.

United

Speaking at the meeting, Councillor George Kay said he welcomed the report and praised the school’s parent council for their input in the process to date.

He also expressed a wish for the community to unite and support the decision which has been made.

He said: “I think this comes on the back of a very full consultation.

“People have had the chance to sit in leisure in their own homes and make up their mind.

“By more than two to one, the people of Burntisland and the surrounding area have made the decision that they want a new school and they want it in East Toll Park.”

The local councillor for the town said that despite this latest step there will continue to be problems with numbers at the school until a new building is provided.

Crisis

“We still have a crisis in Burntisland,” he continued.

“In August there will be 50 more children coming in than going out, and the same is true in August 2013.

“That means we will have a need for three more classrooms in that school.

“I don’t know where they are going to go.

“We don’t have playground space and if we start putting huts in, it will mean even less space.

“So, whereas I’m delighted we’re taking this decision, I would like to see how we could fore-shorten the time of 2014 because we’re going to have a crisis before then and the possibility of taking children away on buses in the morning is quite horrendous to a community like Burntisland.”

Fellow local councillor, Susan Leslie said a commitment from Council officials that they will continue to work with the Burntisland community and address any concerns was needed so “hopefully the community will come with us in its entirety”.

Process

The lengthy process to get the project where it is today, began with 13 sites being considered which were narrowed down to six.

Sites at Lammerlaws Road and East Toll Park emerged as the favourites following public consultation in 2010 and in May last year councillors agreed the East Toll Park site was the Council’s preferred one.

Those opposed to the site had a number of concerns, including traffic issues and loss of green space. The consultation process has also been heavily criticised by some in the community.

These concerns were highlighted by Labour councillor Kay Morrison who said the Council should respect the fact people still had reservations about the site, but suggested legislation may have contributed to issues which arose.

Councillor Alex Rowley added that lessons need to be learned in relation to the consultation.

But he said: “We should be celebrating a new school and moving forward with a new school.

“I don’t know if we could have done better with the consultation and brought more people with us, but we need to move forward.

“While no site is absolutely perfect this is the site that offers the best opportunity to move forward and get a new school.”