CONTROVERSIAL plans to build a new primary school in Burntisland have been given the go ahead by councillors.
Planning permission in principle to construct the new building at East Toll Park with associated access, parking and playing fields was conditionally approved at yesterday’s (Wednesday) meeting of Kirkcaldy Area Committee.
At this stage the application is for planning permission in principle so no detailed plans have been submitted. The new school has been designed to accommodate 651 pupils, 55 staff plus a nursery facility for 160 youngsters.
Councillor George Kay said it had been a four-year journey to reach this stage.
“I remember having a chat about the list of possible sites when we were discussing a new school for Burntisland and my reaction was to look at any of them except East Toll Park,” he said.
“It took 18-20 months for me to come to the realisation that you could forget the others. Although there were difficulties with East Toll Park it was the only site that was suitable.
“It will be the biggest primary school in Fife and the most expensive. We need to get this moving forward so we can get our children into a new school for August 2014.
“In the present school children are sitting on the floor to have their lunch and they are having to go elsewhere for games and assembly. The playground at the moment is dangerous.”
Councillor Susan Leslie said: “This is a planning application, it is not about site selection - that decision was made a long time ago.
“I have read every one of the 593 objections. I found that while people are supporting the site, they have concerns and these have been taken into account with this application and the conditions.”
Councillor Neil Crooks, chairman, raised concerns from former councillor Ron Edwards about drainage and a drop-off point for pupils.
Elspeth Cook, lead officer, said they were seeking specialist advice to resolve any issues about flooding but said there was a huge pressure to not have parents taking their children to school by car, instead the Council is looking to encourage pupils to either walk to school or cycle. As a result there will be no dedicated drop off point.
Welcoming the news, David Torrance MSP, said: “This will move the project on and bring forward a school fit for purpose for the future and it will deliver better education facilities for pupils in Burntisland.”