Controversial primary school plan is withdrawn

Halyrude Primary School.Halyrude Primary School.
Halyrude Primary School.
Controversial plans to change the layout at a Borders primary school were withdrawn yesterday (Wednesday, February 8) amid concern from parents.

Scottish Borders Council had submitted a planning application for external and internal changes at Halyrude RC Primary School in Peebles.

The school shares a building with Leader Valley, which caters for young children with complex learning needs.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The plan was to move P1 to P7 pupils from the ground floor to the first floor, the subsequent loss of the ground floor atrium of the St Joseph’s Centre, with that area re-purposed for Leader Valley.

Concerns were raised by parents that the move would mean P1 to P7 pupils losing direct access to collaboration areas and outdoor space.

The application generated dozens of objections, with one member of the public saying: “Moving the whole school up from the ground floor is likely to have a significant negative impact on safety, access to outdoor space and access to toilet amenities.

“This application seems poorly thought out and would benefit from proper consultation with affected members of the community.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Another objector, a former member of staff at the school, said: “This application is misleading because it appears it is only a minor alteration when in fact if this goes ahead it will have a major impact on the whole of the Halyrude School community.”

One parent talked of the health and safety implications of having all pupils upstairs in the case of a fire.

She added: “I am a proud mother of a Halyrude pupil and I intend on sending my youngest child there also, but these changes, which are only detrimental to the school and the community, are making me increasingly worried about how the school will run in years to come.

“I am proud of the section of school which caters for those children with additional needs and strongly support that it stays as it is. An effective, caring environment within a thriving school.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“These changes do not benefit the school or it's pupils in the slightest, I have no idea what SBC is thinking.”

The planning application is now marked as ‘withdrawn’ on the council’s planning portal website.