A brand new £50 million replacement for Madras College has moved tantalisingly within sight after a formal planning application was lodged by Fife Council.
Detailed plans for the long-awaited rebuild for the St Andrews secondary school are now available to view online.
It’s hoped the building could be open in time for the 2020/21 session if consent is granted.
The move comes after councillors approved a proposal to relocate from the existing school sites at South Street and Kilrymont Road to a new single home at Langlands several months ago.
The question of where to locate the school has divided the community in the past.
However, the vast majority of respondents to a public consultation on the Langlands proposal — 98.1% — were said to be supportive, raising hopes that the long-drawn out Madras saga could soon be at an end.
Councillor David Ross, Fife Council co-leader, welcomed news of the planning application and is looking forward to seeing what people think.
“We have worked relentlessly to have a new school building for Madras College, to replace the buildings in South Street and Kilrymont, and to finally bring the school community together on one site,” he said.
“We have not at any time given up on making sure that this project succeeded.
“It has been a long process with disappointments along the way, but I am delighted that this application has now been lodged and this marks a significant further step towards the construction of this much needed new school.”
Mr Ross urged members of the public to go online and express their views on the plans between now and when the application comes up for consideration.
He added: “Hopefully we have found a solution now which can bring the community together and we can give the children of St Andrews and the Tay Bridgehead area the new facility which they deserve.”
Fellow co-leader Councillor David Alexander was equally pleased to see progress being made.
He said: “Through the £250 million-plus Building Fife’s Future Programme we have already built five new high schools and two primaries.
“A new Madras would complete the programme for the time being while we seek additional funding for future school buildings.
“The new Waid was officially opened only last week and to see the benefits it is bringing to the children and staff who are learning and teaching there was great.
“I want to see the young people of Madras College benefit in the same way from all the advantages that a modern, purpose built facility can bring to a school community.”
Mr Alexander said he wanted to thank all those at Fife Council and St Andrews University who had worked so hard to bring the plans forward for consideration.
The designs are available to view online at /planning.fife.gov.uk/online/.
St Andrews councillor hails “major step forward”
St Andrews Labour councillor Brian Thomson described yesterday’s milestone as a “major step forward” towards the delivery of a much-needed new single site Madras College.
The idea of a replacement was first mooted many years ago and there appeared to be no end in sight to the wrangling over where the new school would be located.
A legal challenge effectively put paid to previous plans to develop a site at Pipeland.
However, a deal was struck with St Andrews University to use a site at Langlands, next to the university, following a statutory consultation with pupils, parents, teachers and the wider community.
Mr Thomson said a lot of hard work had taken place since he and Bryan Poole – former councillor and council education spokesperson — approached the university in the spring of 2016 about the possibility of developing a new school on the Langlands site.
“Fife Council officers and the university’s team deserve great credit in getting us to a stage where detailed plans have now been submitted,” he said.
“The design team have done a great job, with the plans for the school – which will also be a community use centre – looking fantastic.
“The building will fit in well with the existing townscape, and with views out to the North Sea from many of the rooms, and excellent sports facilities – including two all-weather pitches – to be part of the same single-site campus, it will create a high quality learning environment.”
He encouraged anyone with an interest in the proposed new school to have a look at the plans online and to submit their comments.
“With over 98% of respondents having backed the proposal in the education consultation, I hope that the consultation on the planning application will result in a similarly positive response, and that the determination of the planning application can be progressed without any delay,” he added.