Call to demolish Kilrymont building for housing

Cllr Brian Thomson at Madras College Kilrymont campus.
Cllr Brian Thomson at Madras College Kilrymont campus.

The Kilrymont campus could be the target of vandalism if the site is not demolished or sold, a councillor has warned.

The University of St Andrews acquired the Madras College South Street site as part of the deal for the new school, which pupils are expected to move into during the 2020/21 academic year.

However, the Kilrymont site was not included in the deal and Fife Council has said it will be looking for a purchaser for the building.

While St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson has called for the building to be demolished and the land used for affordable housing, the building was listed in 2007.

Historic Environment Scotland states that the building has a ‘striking design with a particularly complex pagoda-style roofline’. It also states it is of special interest because it might be one of Robert Sorley Lawrie’s last designs as county architect.

“In order for listed building consent to be secured to demolish the buildings, the site would have to be marketed to potential purchasers for at least six months, but Historic Environment Scotland could insist that a longer period may be appropriate, and there’s no defined maximum period,” explained Cllr Thomson.

“As such, after the new school is completed – hopefully be the summer of 2021 – there is every likelihood that the buildings could be lying empty for a significant period of time, which would entail the council having to apply appropriate measures to secure the buildings from potential vandalism.”

The issue was raised at the latest meeting of St Andrews Community Council, where some members spoke in favour of the school being demolished.

Community councillor John Jardine said of the building “no one likes it”, adding: “It’s more money that’s going to be ploughed into something and goes to waste.”

Alan Paul, property services senior manager at Fife Council, said: “With work on the new Madras now well underway, we are currently considering the future of Kilrymont, which will become surplus to our requirements when the new school opens in 2021.

“With this in mind we will shortly be instructing marketing agents to seek a purchaser for the building.”