Aberdeenshire Council have announced that plans for the long-awaited new primary school in Kintore have received a set-back, following news that the developers are not in a position to release the site.
The Council admit that the news will come as hugely frustrating for the local community who have worked closely with Aberdeenshire Council to develop plans for the new school.
All approvals for the school were in place and work was expected to start on site shortly, following community engagement on the design of the school, successful planning approval, funding secured, tender completion and a contractor appointed, ready to move onto site.
Council officials have been in regular discussion with the developers, a consortium of Kirkwood Homes, Malcolm Allan Homes and Barratt Homes. However, they have advised that they are not in a position to transfer the site to the council at this time.
Aberdeenshire Council say that while they are keen to reach agreement through mutual consent and negotiations will continue with the consortium and landowners to acquire the site voluntarily, they will also pursue a compulsory purchase order to resolve the situation.
The opening date for the new school, planned for August 2015 is now likely to be delayed until August 2016.
Local councillor and Chair of Garioch Area Committee Cllr Fergus Hood said, “The council has made excellent progress with the plans for a new school and it comes as a great frustration that, at the final hurdle, it comes to light that the site isn’t available at this time.
“The council remains firmly committed to building a new primary school at Kintore and we will support the headteacher and the whole teaching staff at Kintore, who have been doing an excellent job, despite the pressure on school facilities.”
A community engagement meeting will be organised and held in Kintore before the end of the school term to keep parents informed.