ASSURANCES have been issued that there is no cut-and-dried ‘deal’ between the council and a housing developer over the building of a new school in rural Clydesdale.
The Gazette revealed last week that South Lanarkshire Council had been offered, as a gift, a site for a new primary school in Elsrickle, by a landowner who is also about to apply for up to 10 new homes to be built nearby.
There are fears the council’s decision whether or not to grant planning permission for the homes might be swayed by the donation of land.
One villager, Michelle Walters, said that she feared the site of the new school and homes was on ground prone to flooding .
She added that building on ground near her and other homes might make it difficult for people to get home insurance in the future.
Some comfort was given to concerned villagers by council schools boss Lynn Sherry, who said the school land would be “purchased” by the council and would not be a gift.
The council’s Head of Education said: “The council is considering a proposal to relocate Walston Primary School to Elsrickle.
“Should the council wish to take the proposal further it would require to undertake a statutory consultation, which would allow stakeholders to make representations prior to formal consideration by the council.
“As part of this statutory consultation process a public meeting would also be required to be held.
“Prior to entering negotiations with the landowner the council would carry out site investigations to assess the sites suitability.
“Should the council go forward with the proposal it would enter negotiations with the landowner to purchase the land for the school.
“Any application for a new school would be assessed on its own merits against appropriate local plan policies and taking into account other considerations, as would any other separate potential development proposals.”