The directors of a company which appealed the Court of Session’s approval of plans to build a new Madras College at Pipeland have been accused of “scraping the barrel” with their grounds for appeal.
Pro-Pipeland campaign group Parent Voice said the reasons given by St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (Stepal) were “farcical”.
The parent group said the only impact the appeal was having was a delay to the much needed new school and detrimental impact on the education of children.
Following a two-day hearing at the Court of Session in December, Lord Doherty published his findings on March 20 and rejected the legal challenge by Stepal.
After years of debate and counter-debate, the judge’s decision backed Fife Council’s plan to build the £42.7 million secondary on green belt land to the south of St Andrews.
But Fife Council was later advised that Stepal would be lodging an appeal against the judgment of Lord Doherty to dismiss the legal challenge.
A petition just lodged by Stepal at the Court of Session states that the grounds for appeal are that the judge “erred” when he concluded that the respondent (Fife Council) “did not err in treating the North Haugh and Station Park as a ‘split site’.”
A second ground was that the judge “erred in holding that the North Haugh/Station Park was not ruled out because it was considered to be a split site without giving any or adequate consideration to other factors and there was no balancing of its alleged disadvantages with those of the respondent’s (Fife Council’s) preferred site”.
Parent Voice spokesman Chris Wallard said: “As we found out a couple of weeks ago, Stepal lodged their appeal without even having agreed why they were appealing.
“It then took Stepal six weeks to cobble this together, and it’s clear they’re really scraping the barrel.
“An appeal case must be based on an error in law or in the judicial process.
“To appeal simply because you think you think the judge was wrong is farcical.
“It shows they’re not serious about winning their case they’re just determined to use thousands of pounds to block the new school for our children for as long as they can.”
Stepal said yesterday it had been advised by its legal team to make no comment at this stage.
However, its directors recently stated their motivation was to “avoid building a sub-standard school on a totally unsuitable site which Fife Council admits will damage the environment”.
It also rejected claims that children’s education is suffering due to delays in the construction of a new Madras College.