St Andrews University pond site ruled out as possible location of new Madras College

Fife Council says it will not consider the pond at the North Haugh as a possible location.

Fife Council has “absolutely no intention” of looking again at the North Haugh pond site in St Andrews as a possible location for a single-site Madras College.

This clarification has come from Councillor Bryan Poole who holds the council’s education portfolio after a new campaign group was set up to continue fighting for the pond site.

The group was established despite the fact Fife Council is concentrating its efforts on developing a new school at Pipeland, on the southern hillside.

The North Haugh Group believes that the university-owned pond site is best suited due to its location on the western side of town.

But Mr Poole has previously made it clear that even if the university gave Fife Council the site for nothing, it would still refuse it because of all the additional abnormal costs which its engineers identified.

Mr Poole said: “I don’t think there is a councillor on Fife Council, when considering the replacement for the existing Madras, who would not have preferred to land a site on the western approaches to St Andrews.

“There is, though, no site on the western approaches which is both available and suitable. The site known as the pond site probably more aptly called the swamp site promoted by the campaign group is neither available nor suitable.

“Fife Council has absolutely no intention of nor does it have any interest in looking any further at that site. It is a complete non-starter.

“Indeed, it is a distraction from the statutory consultation which is currently under way with regard to the replacement Madras College.”

Mr Poole added: “With regard to the comments attributed to the campaign group around planning, I can only say that the advice I have received from both our planning and legal officers has been that it would be possible to get planning permission for the Pipeland site.

“If that wasn’t the case, we wouldn’t be consulting on it.”