Decision looms on major housing plan for former school site

The local community fought for over 12 months to keep the school open, now approval is recommended for plans to redevelop the school site.
The local community fought for over 12 months to keep the school open, now approval is recommended for plans to redevelop the school site.

The future of a controversial former primary school site in Fife is set to be decided on Monday.

Planners will decide whether to approve an application for 78 new affordable council houses to be built on the former Tanshall Primary School in Glenrothes.

Tanshall Primary School in Glenrothes closed in July 2014 and was demolished later that year.

Tanshall Primary School in Glenrothes closed in July 2014 and was demolished later that year.

The local community had waged a bitter year-long campaign to keep Tanshall school open back in 2014 but finally lost the fight in July 2015 when the school was closed and subsequently demolished as a result of a Fife-wide review of the council’s school estate.

Now members of Fife Council’s Central Area Planning Committee are set to consider the application, brought forward by the local authority, to redevelop the site in the west of the town.

The plan, which officers have recommended for approval, will bring a range of new affordable two-five bedroom council homes available for rent, in a mix of two-storey semi-detached and terraced house styles. Wheelchair accessible bungalows in various sizes are also included in the plans.

An area of protected green space, including the ‘Wishing Tree’, planted by Tanshall pupils back in the 1970s, will also be included, while access to the site would be from two entry points along South Parks Road.

Commenting ahead of the meeting, Glenrothes councillor Altany Craik, whose ward the vacant site is in, said: ‘I am delighted that the plans for affordable housing are coming to planning on Monday and are recommended for approval.

“The affordable house building programme to deliver 3500 new houses in the next five years will really make a difference to those desperately waiting for a home.

“The 80 or so houses will be of the mix we need to make a great place to live and meet the current shortages that often leave our residents stuck.

“It is vital that the best place making policies are used to create a great place to live in Glenrothes west.

“The conclusion of the Golden Glenrothes Charrette at Glenwood and this development show just how much is going on and coming together.

“I am looking forward to seeing the houses springing up as soon as possible.”