Plans for proposed new community campus in Scott Park in Galashiels have been altered

New plans have been drawn up to reduce the impact on Scott Park in Galashiels of a new £55m community school campus proposed for the green site.

Wednesday, 24th March 2021, 10:15 am
Scott Park. (Photo:BILL McBURNIE)

And this week an informal community consultation on plans for the new secondary school were launched, and are available online at www.scotborders.gov.uk/galacampus

There has been growing opposition over the council’s preferred plan to build on the school and it remains to be seen if the changes alter opinions.

The consultation provides the opportunity for the community to provide views on five options for the replacement of Galashiels Academy.

Following a feasibility study of these five options, the council has identified a preferred option and is particularly keen to get feedback on this proposal.

The preferred option is for the new 1,000+ pupil school to be largely built within the existing school boundary and a portion of the town’s Scott Park.

Following early feedback from the community, the building location has been altered to reduce the impact on the park.

Demolition of the existing school buildings would allow for extensive landscaping which would actually see the usable Scott Park area expanded and improved upon. This would include the establishment of a community orchard and new pathways for both school and community use.

Councillor Carol Hamilton, executive member for Children and Young People, said: “The replacement of the existing Galashiels Academy with a new community campus will not only deliver an outstanding educational facility for our young people but also provide a range of community and sporting facilities which will improve opportunities and access for everyone in the Galashiels area and beyond.

“The council’s preferred option has already been refined following initial community feedback, but this consultation really is the opportunity for all in the community, not just the school community, to get involved and share their views about the plans for a brand new school.

“This is a truly exciting proposal and builds on the council’s recent investment in new secondary schools in Kelso and Jedburgh. It is now Galashiels’ turn and I would encourage everyone in the Galashiels area to explore the dedicated consultation website and share their views.”

This initial consultation will be followed by the submission of a pre-application notice towards the end of April for planning purposes before a full planning application is lodged. These latter two steps will include formal consultation with the community on site and building specific matters.

A statutory education consultation, focused on the educational benefits of a new school rather than the site or building itself, will also commence shortly.

The current aim is for the new campus to open in 2025.