Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Call for independent review into Madras saga as delay cost passes £5 million mark

Councillor Julie Ford's motion to Fife Council will be considered on Thursday.
Councillor Julie Ford's motion to Fife Council will be considered on Thursday.

Calls for an independent review into the Madras College replacement saga in St Andrews will be made this week as the expected cost of delays to the project surpasses the £5 million mark.

SNP councillors are expected to call for the review to be commissioned on Thursday to ensure Fife Council “learns lessons” for future significant capital projects, given the lengthy wrangling that has delayed the building of the £40.7 million school.

Council officials are currently reassessing potential sites for the development after a legal challenge blocked work at the previously preferred Pipeland venue, which Scottish Government reporters then recommended should be retained as greenbelt.

Opposition councillors Julie Ford and Fay Sinclair have lodged a motion to the full Fife Council on Thursday suggesting a review should, among other things, assess how the council acquired options on the lands associated with the Pipeland project, the sums already spent on site, legal costs spent pursuing it, and further anticipated costs.

The latest figures anticipate a £5.17 million overspend on the project, with £3.2 million already spent.

St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson said it was “disappointing” that the variance against the original budget has risen to just over £5 million.

But he added: “The original £40m budget was set in August 2009 – over seven years ago – so it’s no surprise that the projected cost has risen by around £5m during that period, with inflation being one of the main factors.

“Furthermore, in June 2011, when the original proposal on university-owned land was under consideration, the budget was raised by £2.55m, to cover the cost of proposed investment in shared sports facilities with the university.

“Whilst I wasn’t a councillor at that time, I understand that the approved increase had cross-party support.

“We are where we are now and, whilst cost is an important issue – particularly during a time of severe funding cuts to local authorities – the most important factor is ensuring that the children and young people in the Madras College catchment area get a new school as soon as possible.

“The benefits of a new school with modern facilities – particularly when compared to the dire existing facilities – would be huge. How can a monetary value be put against those benefits?

“The simple answer is it can’t and, despite the hurdles that have been put in the way, I’m pleased that the council is still fully committed to delivering a new Madras College.”

Lindsay Matheson, former Madras rector and director of the St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) which launched the legal challenge against Pipeland, said the group felt “vindicated” by recent rulings but welcomed the reappraisal of sites as a “clean slate”.

He added: “We are heartened by the fact that, after five years of coolness, the main people in the equation – the council and the University of St Andrews as the major landowner in the area – are back in conversation.

“We wish them well in that. We’re all hoping that whatever comes out of this, the community will be united behind it and we can put any divisions behind us.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]