Council "frustrated" at inquiry into new Kintore school

Aberdeenshire Council has expressed disappointment that as a result of the various objections lodged by landowners, the Scottish Government is seeking to hold a Public Local Inquiry (PLI) into the council’s proposed compulsory purchase of a site for the new Kintore Primary school.

Significant population growth in the town means that the existing Kintore Primary School is struggling to cope with the number of children needing places.

Aberdeenshire Council says, in trying to push the building of the new school, it has vigorously responded to all objections, and where appropriate, agreed to the various demands made by landowners.

“Aberdeenshire Council is ready to start construction on the school,” says Garioch Area Manager Doug Milne, “and it is deeply frustrating that we have been unable to obtain the land.

“We have always been open to acquire the land voluntarily from the landowners and shall continue to pursue this course of action. We are urgently seeking a meeting with them to resolve this and avoid unnecessary delays to construction of this much needed school.”

"The decision … does jeopardise the acquisition of the site by the Council in time for building work to start next spring, which it must if the school is to be ready to open in August 2016,” Councillor Martin Ford points out.

"Ultimately, the inquiry is a consequence of there being objections from four landowners. I understand three of the landowners have actually agreed a compensation package with the Council for the transfer of their land – but they have also persisted with their formal objections to the compulsory purchase order. The Council has not reached agreement with the fourth landowner.

"The four landowners who have lodged formal objections to the compulsory purchase order could withdraw their objections and agree to the Council purchasing the land. Agreement is always preferable. There is no doubt that all the objectors will be very well aware of the urgent need for a new school to serve the local community.

“Three of the landowners even stand to directly benefit from the new school being built, as it is a precondition of house building on the wider Kintore East development site. They ought to want to help with getting the school built,” Councillor Ford concludes.

Abrerdeenshire Council says it will not be in a position to confirm the start date for construction of the school until such times as these matters are resolved.
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