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Education compromise offered to aid Cupar housing expansion

Hundreds of new homes could be built across the north of Cupar, resulting in the need for a new school
Hundreds of new homes could be built across the north of Cupar, resulting in the need for a new school

A significant compromise has been offered in Cupar’s school provision to aid construction of hundreds of new houses, say education bosses.

Builders behind 1,648 new homes planned in the Cupar North expansion zone and at nearby Gilliesfauld West would be required to pay for a new primary school and a new gym hall for Castlehill Primary School.

However, there is a risk of insufficient pupil places being available during the early part of the development, which is expected to take almost 25 years to complete.

It is proposed pupils would be taught in composite classes, for example primary one and primary two children together, to reduce the number of new classrooms needed.

A consortium of builders has sought planning permission for 1,480 new homes at Cupar North and up to 168 homes are planned at Gilliesfauld West by A&J Stephen.

A report by Clair Lawrence, of Fife Council’s education and children’s services, said the number of new pupils expected to be generated by the two developments would require seven additional classrooms by 2031 and 12 by 2044.


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If the housing plans are approved, it recommends that in just five years’ time a new £900,000 gym hall be built at Castlehill Primary School, allowing creation of two classrooms elsewhere.

A £5.7 million ‘half-stream’ primary school with four classes would be required by 2030, extended to a full seven-class school at a cost of £2.63m, by 2037.

New modular accommodation for nursery pupils would also be required temporarily at Westfield Nursery.

Ms Lawrence said the solution had been widely discussed with the Cupar North strategic development area consortium and was a “significant compromise” on the part of the council.

She said: “The modelling and assumptions around Castlehill Primary School and the delivery of the new primary school are based on a compromise by the education service to offer to support the development in this area by organising pupils in composite classes to reduce the class requirement.

“As part of the this project to encourage housing development, the education service has agreed to accept the risk of insufficient pupil places where small class sizes are generated during the early part of the development.

“At present Fife Council’s policy guidance requires the developer to procure and deliver the new primary school to a specification agreed with the council.”

However, the report also stated that due to complexities of several parties being involved the council may deliver the school, funded by the developers.

Bell Baxter High School currently has room to accommodate the new children anticipated, the report said, but it was recommended a deal is struck to review the position in later years to determine whether an extension is necessary.

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