Plans for new school approved by committee

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Plans to build a new primary school at Hillside in Portlethen were approved by the Kincardine and Mearns Area Committee this week.

The community school will cater for 355 pupils with a core facility for 540 in total. The options involving the closure of Portlethen Primary School were rejected.

The proposals, along with the committee recommendation, were due to go before the Policy and Resources Committee today (Thursday) where a final decision will be made.

If approved, the school would have a completion date of June 2016.

Members of the committee heard that, in the meantime, temporary accommodation facilities would be used to ease overcrowding at Portlethen Primary School, where most of the children from Hillside are zoned for. However it was stressed that this would be just a temporary measure.

North Kincardine Councillors Ian Mollison, Alison Evison, Carl Nelson and Alisdair Bews all welcomed the proposals and were backed unanimously by their fellow councillors.

Councillor Alison Evison said:“It is fantastic that the plans for a school at Hillside are moving forward through Aberdeenshire Council procedures after such a long campaign.

“I have always felt that a school at Hillside is needed now in addition to the existing provision in the area.

“It was important to carry out consultation with the community before bringing this to committee. A stakeholder group has been meeting regularly with council officers and councillors since last summer.”

“The capacity of the existing schools could not cope with the number of local children. And with developments continuing in the area, realistic planning for the future is essential.”

Members of the community, including the community council, a stakeholder group and the Hillside Community Action Group were commended for their efforts in bringing the campaign for a new school to this stage.