Momentum is building for a new Madras College at Langlands after councillors rubber-stamped the £50 million project at a meeting earlier today (Tuesday).
The plan now is for a statutory consultation surrounding the issue to run from March 13 until May 12 — with two public meetings and a series of informal drop-in sessions already pencilled in.
In addition to Langlands, three options were still in the running for the replacement Madras: a remodel of the existing Kilrymont site, and locations on Craigtoun Road and Strathkinness Road.
In a report put before the Fife council’s executive committee today, Carrie Lindsay, education and children’s services executive director confirmed Langlands as the preferred option.
She stated: “Having considered a range of factors, the more detailed site assessment process that has now been undertaken supports the initial education service view expressed at the executive committee meeting on December 13 2016 that, on balance, Langlands offers the best location for replacement of Madras College.”
“In particular, the site offers the advantage of co-location with the university, potential scope for an integrated sport and community facility encompassing the school and university facilities and the early delivery of a permanent access solution, which would minimise the environmental impact of vehicle movements generated by the school on the rest of St Andrews.”
Cllr Brian Thomson, speaking after the meeting, welcomed the decision.
He commented: “Today’s decision is fantastic news for the children and young people living in the Madras College catchment area.
“It’s almost a year ago that Cllr Bryan Poole and I met with senior University officials to discuss the possibility of developing a new Madras College at the Langlands site, and I’m delighted that we’re now at a stage where the project has been given the go-ahead.
“An awful lot of work has been carried out to get to this stage, and all those involved from the Council and the University deserve great credit.”
He added: “I’m also pleased that the statutory education consultation will commence on 13th March - which will give the local community an opportunity to comment on the proposal - and with site investigation works visibly underway on the Langlands site, momentum is clearly building in terms of moving the project forward.
“Whilst there is due process to follow in terms of securing planning permission, I hope that the project can now proceed apace, and the long-awaited new Madras College can be delivered as soon as possible.”
Two public meetings have been arranged at Madras College’s Kilrymont Road on March 28, from 6pm to 7.30pm, and Madras’ South Street campus on April 26, from 6pm to 7.30pm, where there will be opportunities to hear more about the proposals, ask questions and have views recorded as part of the consultation.
A range of other informal drop-in sessions have also been pre-arranged in various locations throughout March and April, with hopes then high that Education Scotland will give Fife Council’s plans its backing in the summer.