Consideration is being given to plans to demolish Tanshall Primary School to make way for Fife Council’s drive to build more affordable housing.
The Council’s Education and Children’s Services Directorate has confirmed that the site will not be required for educational purposes after the school closes at the end of this school year in July, leaving the way clear for the school to be demolished and the site re-developed.
Alan Russell, senior manager for housing condition and supply, said: “In line with existing processes, we will now investigate whether the site would be suitable to build housing on or not.
“Once we have examined the details, and if we think it might work, we will hold an information event with the local community to help finalise plans before submitting a planning application.
“If the site is feasible, we want to reassure parents that work would not begin until after the school has closed in July.”
The move has been welcomed by Councillor Altany Craik, whose ward the school is in. He said: “We need to build over 600 homes for rent in Glenrothes to meet local needs.
“This site could go some way to meeting that target and I look forward to seeing proposals that I can discuss with my constituents.”
But the move have been criticised by Tanshall resident Euan Howells, who spearheaded the parents’ 14 month campaign to save the school from closure.
“It’s disappointing but not entirely unexpected,” he told the Gazette.
“With a major housing development in Tanshall just completed and more housing planned we argued all along that the projected growth in the population would require a school in the precinct in the coming years.
“Even though they said the closure was based on educational efficiency, it makes you wonder if they did indeed have this plan for housing up their sleeves all along.”
Fife Council has gone back on its word - claim Tanshall councillors
Fife Council’s attempt to inform the parents of those currently attending the school has sparked fury among some of the town’s Councillors.
Peter Grant whose ward includes Tanshall,told the Gazette: “Yet again Fife Council has shown a complete lack of sensitivity to the people of Tanshall.
“Most people assumed the site would be used for housing and everyone recognises the desperate need for affordable housing in west Glenrothes but communities are still entitled to proper consultation.
“As ward councillors we were told the Council had previously given a promise that no work of any kind would be done on the site until the school had closed.
“We made it very clear that the Council had to honour that promise, now we discover that the Council has gone back on its word.”
Fellow Councillor Bill Brown,who has written to those responsible for the letter, added: “Closing Tanshall had a devastating effect on many, we were assured that communication to interested parties would be handled sensitively.”