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Locals scrutinise Bertha Park School plan

First look at Bertha Park School, planned for Perth.
First look at Bertha Park School, planned for Perth.

The public has been given the chance to check out plans for a brand new Perth secondary school.

The latest proposals for the 1,100-capacity Bertha Park were unveiled to residents on Tuesday.

Feedback from the session at North Inch Community Campus will be used to draw up a detailed application for planning permission.

The bid is likely to be lodged in the new year.

A fuller consultation will take place once the official planning 
application has been submitted.

The £32.5 million school – which is a rare example of a brand new Scottish secondary, rather than a 
replacement – will have an 
additional support needs unit and two all-weather floodlit pitches, as well as a multi-use games area.

The Scottish Government has pledged £23 million towards the project, with the council picking up the remainder of the bill.

Originally, a condition of funding was that the new school must be up and running by the end of March 2018.

But the opening date was postponed until 2019 after complaints from parents about the original plan to phase in pupils.

A legal agreement was signed in January, securing the land required for the new secondary school. The Section 75 agreement is still in progress.

The new build will part of a £1 billion housing development being led by Springfield Properties.

A council spokeswoman said: “The design of the new school building uses a simple deep plan approach to make effective use of the space within the building and maximise the ingress of natural light.”

The project is separate from a £128 million upgrade of the region’s school estates.

This includes two new schools in the north of the city, as well as at the recently revived Oudenarde estate, near Bridge of Earn.

The new school plan, approved at budget talks earlier this year, is a £76 million expansion of the estates review and pledges replacement builds at Pitlochry, Tulloch, Kinross and Alyth.

The council is also reviewing all of its primary and secondary schools in an effort to bring rising revenue costs under control.

The initiative will look at the condition of school buildings, pupil numbers and occupancy rates.

According to a council report, several options are being considered including shared headships, catchment reviews and “rationalisation through closure”.

The possibility of building new schools in areas of high demand will also be considered.

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