Fresh twist as new site chosen for Madras College

Madras CollegeAfter legal challenges stretching back to over a year, St Andrews finally looks set to get a new secondary school, but not at the expected location.

In a surprise announcement at yesterday’s meeting of Fife Council, council leader David Ross revealed that a deal with St Andrews University was close to completion for the new Madras College to be built on land at Langlands.

The twist development comes after the site, in the west end of the town, was initially ruled out in favour of Pipeland.

A judicial review into a challenge by St Andrews Environmental Protection Association Ltd (STEPAL) was dismissed in March 2015 but the construction of the £40 million school was delayed until January this year after an appeal to the Court of Session.

However, following the legal challenge, Fife Council has been forced to go back to the drawing board, with Langlands now the likely destination for the new secondary school.

In his statement, Councillor Ross said: “We can now progress matters to a positive conclusion, and that – subject to the proper consideration by both parties – this would enable us to take forward the development of a new school at Langlands.

“Very positive progress has been made in exploring the potential to take forward a site for the new Madras at St Andrews University land at Langlands, and ensuring the future of the Madras College site in South Street for educational purposes.

“After decades of indecision and wrangling over where the desperately needed new Madras College should be located, sighs of relief and cheers for the move reverberated around St Andrews.”

Confirming that negotiations were underway, University of St Andrews principal Professor Sally Mapstone said “We believe that we have made significant progress with Fife Council towards an agreement to site the new Madras College on university land at Langlands.

“Should our ongoing discussions reach a positive formal conclusion, we anticipate that this will provide a new school for St Andrews as quickly as possible and ensure that the existing Madras College site in South Street can continue to be an important focus for education in Fife.”

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