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A new Madras College will almost certainly be built on land at Pipeland Farm, on the southern edge of St Andrews, after confirmation that a legal challenge against Fife Council's decision to grant planning permission for the new school has failed.

A judicial review was raised by the St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Limited - a company formed to attempt to stop the desperately needed new school being built - and, following a two-day hearing held in the Court of Session in December, Lord Doherty published his judgement on Friday.

 

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 Cllr Thomson looking at a plan of the proposed new Madras College at the Pipeland site.

 

Speaking after the publication of the judgement, St Andrews Labour councillor, Brian Thomson, said: "This is fantastic news for the children and young people of St Andrews and the surrounding area, as well as the staff at Madras College.  As a parent of school age children, and a local councillor, I am delighted that it looks like - at long last - works can commence soon on a desperately needed new Madras College.
 
As the recent HM Inspector's report showed, the pupils and staff at Madras College are performing extremely well, in difficult conditions.  I was at a parents evening last night at the Kilrymont Road building, and it once again highlighted to me the unacceptable physical conditions that pupils and staff are having to put with.  The buildings were not in a great condition when I was a pupil at Madras College, and their condition has deteriorated significantly in the 24 year period since then, whilst the split-site situation continues to cause difficulties for the operation of the school.
 
The reason that I got involved in politics was my involvement - as a parent - in the campaign for a new-build Madras College.  Back in 2011, the Council was very close to progressing what was a hugely unpopular proposal to refurbish the Kilrymont Road building, and it is a result of the huge efforts of many parents, guardians and other members of the community that, firstly, the Kilrymont proposal was rejected and, secondly, we are now so close to getting a new-build school fit for the 21st century.

As a result of the inspirational leadership of rector David McClure, and the hard work of all staff and pupils, Madras College is performing extremely well, and I hope that they will soon have the new school that they and the wider community deserve."

New Madras College set to go ahead

A new Madras College will almost certainly be built on land at Pipeland Farm, on the southern edge of St Andrews, after confirmation that a legal challenge against Fife Council's decision...

Depute Leader of Fife Council, Cllr Lesley Laird, and fellow Scottish Labour councillor, Brian Thomson, along with other local politicians, met with Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing, in Leuchars on Monday, to discuss the problems being faced by local businesses during the transition of the military base from an RAF to an Army base.  Following the meeting, Cllr Laird and the Minister visited a number of local businesses.

After the meeting, Cllr Thomson said:

"It was good to see cross-party support for the businesses.  Also, Fife Council and Business Gateway are working with local businesses and the local community to promote a buy local campaign - with a leaflet being distributed throughout the local area - as well as seeking to ensure that businesses receive any reliefs they are entitled t from no  domestic business rates.

However, the reality of the situation is that local businesses are suffering an unsustainable loss in revenue, and some sort of direct intervention - which is outwith the power of the Council - is required as soon as possible.

As someone who's family is from Leuchars, I'm well aware of the importance of the local businesses to the village.  Many of the businesses are long established and there has been, for example, pubs and a butcher operating from the same premises since the 19th century.

I believe that we have a fairly unique position in Leuchars, in that there is a defined fallow period during the transition from an RAF to an Army base and, as such, I am of the view that the MOD has a responsibility to assist.  I will therefore be writing to the Secretary of State for Defence, Michael Fallon, regarding the matter, although I am aware that colleagues have done so already and not received a response.

I will also be writing to our local MP, Sir Menzies Campbell, who - with his Lib Dem party part of a coalition government with the Tories - I would expect should be able to exert some sort of pressure on the Secretary of State for Defence."

Cllr Laird said:

"While it was helpful to have all party support at the meeting, the reality is we need the MOD to recognise the unique set of circumstances that businesses in Leuchars are facing.

The issue is that it has simply not been a seamless transition, as the sheer volume of personnel and footfall is not there, and will not be there in real numbers until around September.  I have not received a response to my previous letters to Michael Fallon, and I will be writing to him again.  I would echo Cllr Thomson's view, and encourage the Lib Dems, as a coalition partner, to exercise stronger pressure, and make the case for Leuchars' business community."

 

The_Aero_Cafe.jpg Cllr Thomson outside the Aero Café in Leuchars.

 

 

Call for MOD to Assist Businesses in Leuchars

Depute Leader of Fife Council, Cllr Lesley Laird, and fellow Scottish Labour councillor, Brian Thomson, along with other local politicians, met with Minister for Business, Energy and Tourism, Fergus Ewing,...

Having highlighted the deteriorating condition of Bogward Road and the Canongate in St Andrews, and pushed for the resurfacing works to be carried out for a considerable period of time, I'm delighted that Council officers have now confirmed that the entire length of Bogward Road, and part of Canongate - from John Knox Road to Learmonth Place junctions - are to be resurfaced.

As it's only the top surface of the roads that have failed, rather than a complete structural failure, a proprietary surface treatment will be used, which will be relatively quick to carry out.

A timescale for the work has not yet been confirmed, but I've been advised that, ideally, the work would be undertaken at some point between June and September.

 

Bogward_Road.JPG

Long-Awaited Road Resurfacing Work Set to be Carried Out

Having highlighted the deteriorating condition of Bogward Road and the Canongate in St Andrews, and pushed for the resurfacing works to be carried out for a considerable period of time,...

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