Madras: the waiting game goes on

St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson looks at plans for the new Madras College at the Pipeland Farm site.
St Andrews councillor Brian Thomson looks at plans for the new Madras College at the Pipeland Farm site.

The community will have to wait a further three months for a judges decision on an appeal surrounding the decision of the future of Madras College.

The Court of Session in Edinburgh sat for two days this week - on Tuesday and Wednesday - to hear evidence after St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) launched an appeal challenging Lord Docherty’s rejection of its petition for a judicial review of the council’s decision to build a replacement Madras College on Pipeland Farm.

Brian Thomson, St Andrews councillor said: “We will have to wait three months for the judgement to be announced.

“Whilst the decision will be considered on points of law, whatever that outcome is, it will not lead to the site being built at North Haugh.

“It is absolutely clear that the site is not able to hold a development of the size required for a future Madras

“More significantly, large portions of both the North Haugh site and Station Park lie within an area identified by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) as an area of flood risk. Given the current flooding problems across the country, it’s ludicrous to suggest constructing a new school in such an area.”

“Anybody who knows anything about construction knows it is just not possible.”

Campaigners who were hoping to reverse the Pipelands site decision made by Fife Council, launched the appeal in April.

STEPAL directors, Mary RC Jack, Lindsay Matheson and Sandra Thomson said they are pleased that the appeal is over, adding: “We await the decision of the three judges with interest.”

Steven Paterson, solicitor at Fife Council said: “We can only await the court’s decision, which we hope will come around April.”

Delays to the building of a new Madras College at Pipeland have cost the taxpayer an extra £3m since beginning their battle to have the building stopped according to Fife Council’s education spokesman Bryan Poole. “Every year’s delay is costing Fife Council around £1.5m due to construction inflationary pressures. On inflationary costs alone, STEPAL have cost the taxpayers of Fife an additional £3mn to date, which, in all probability, will increase.”

Cllr Thomson said: “As has been stated many times, STEPAL’s decision to pursue this action is preventing the children of St Andrews and the wider Madras College catchment from benefitting from the modern educational facilities that they desperately need and at the same time, is costing the Council tax-payers of Fife millions of pounds in increased project costs - due to inflation and legal fees.”

The delays also mean the earliest date children could move into the school – replacing Madras College’s South Street and Kilrymont campuses – will be 2018.

The appeal was held before Lord Drummond Young, Lord Malcolm and Lady Clark of Calton.