The battle hots up for Madras green belt plan

THE biggest consultation process ever held in Fife could decide if a £40m school is to be built on green belt land.
Proposals to build a new Madras College on a site at Pipeland Farm in St Andrews are at the centre of a series of public meetings and displays as well as discussions with pupils and parents. The process will end on March 8.
Councillor Bryan Poole said: “As councillors we have given the matter of the Madras College replacement more detailed consideration and scrutiny than any other single issue in this council to date. At the scrutiny committee it was unanimously agreed to move ahead with the executive committee’s decision to consult on Pipeland as the preferred site for a new school.
“It is now time for the most important stakeholders, the pupils of Madras and its feeder primaries and their parents, teachers and other interested parties, to have their say. Those same stakeholders have been
campaigning for a replacement for the existing Madras College for many years – far too long some would say.”
The consultation is on the educational advantages of building a new school on the Pipeland site and will not include planning matters.
Proposals are for a £40m complex featuring “widely praised design concepts” such as the use of natural light and open spaces as well as environmental and technology measures already seen in new schools at Dunfermline and Auchmuty.
Elsewhere, The Highland Council has taken another step forward in its plan to replace Inverness Royal Academy with a new complex. A committee has agreed a series of recommendations that will allow the £33.98m project to progress towards a construction start in spring 2014. The Scottish Government will contribute £16.67m and the council the remainder.
Councillors agreed the initial design brief will specify a capacity of 1,400 pupils, six classrooms dedicated to Gaelic education and sports facilities for school and community use.