Setback for Madras


Madras College’s push for a new building situated on a separate site apart from its current locations in St Andrews has been stalled. Madras is currently split between its sites on South Street and Kilrymont Road.

Madras College aims for a new, large site to be built in the countryside of St Andrews. Talks about replacing the secondary school commenced more than ten years ago.

Fife Council’s proposal for a £40 million plan to refurbish and extend the existing Kilrymont junior campus was rejected on Friday 17 February. A ten-week consultation programme disclosed that 54.7 per cent of the people consulted rejected the proposal. Participants included individuals such as students of Madras College as well as parents and staff. Organisations, such as the parent council and Community Council, were also consulted.

Fife Council declined to comment on the results of the consultation programme owing to the process being unfinished.

In a press release, Councilor Douglas Chapman, Fife Council Chair of the Education and Children’s Services Committee, stated: “A report will now be forwarded to Education Scotland, who will scrutinise the process and report back to Fife Council. The council will now wait for the report by Education Scotland and take time to consider responses of the statutory consultees as well as those of the wider public. Overall, the council will not be in a position to make a final decision until a new Council is formed in May.”

Madras College’s plans have been dogged by setbacks and disappointments. In January, Fife Council dismissed the Muir Group’s offer of a site at Pipeland Farm, reduced in price from £3 million to £2 million. The Council said the Muir Group’s proposal would delay the August 2015 opening date and could not be accommodated within budget. The proposal would also have set a standard for development in the greenbelt.

Alan Paul, Senior Manager of Property Services of Fife Council, maintained that “the site Muir have offered is identified in the emerging local plan as greenbelt and the scale of the proposal to develop the site as a school, bearing in mind it would be one of the biggest structures in St Andrews, would be significantly contrary to the emerging local plan.”

Until August 2011 the University of St Andrews was involved in talks that would have allowed Madras to build on land owned by the University. However, University officials pulled out of the deal after five years of planning.

Principal Louise Richardson and senior governor Ewan Brown stated in a joint statement that the negotiations had been prolonged for too long.


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