Schools full says council

Pupil numbers are putting New Stevenston Primary School under 'exceptional pressure', says council.
Pupil numbers are putting New Stevenston Primary School under 'exceptional pressure', says council.

Plans for 12 flats in New Stevenston have been given the go-ahead despite a warning that schools in the area can’t cope with more pupils.

North Lanarkshire Council says both village primaries, which were built only nine years ago, are full with New Stevenston Primary under ‘exceptional pressure’.

The schools issue was one reason councillors turned down the proposal for a three-storey block of flats in Carfin Industrial Estate, New Stevenston, a year ago.

Now, however, that decision has been overturned by a Scottish Government reporter after an appeal by developer Robert Cameron.

The two primaries operate separately from a joint campus in Coronation Road. According to the council, New Stevenston Primary has 260 pupils while St Patrick’s has a roll of 162.

In a statement opposing Mr Cameron’s appeal, the council said it operates a scheme whereby developers contribute to the cost of school extensions.

In this case Mr Cameron would pay £48,000 - £4,000 per flat - if planning permission was granted.

However, that falls far short of the cost of a one-classroom extension - around £300,000.

The council added: “There are no extension proposals in place to address the pressures being experienced at the affected schools. It’s unlikely that the situation within these schools would be resolved in the short term.

“New Stevenston Primary is under exceptional pressure following the projected intake of pupils from Fullwood Gardens in Holytown where Miller Homes are proposing 237 houses.”

Miller are contributing £300,000 towards the education budget, but payments are phased with the last not due until next spring.

The council said extra pupils would ‘put unreasonable pressure on schools already experiencing great difficulties’. It also objected to Mr Cameron’s plans on the grounds that the three-storey block represents overdevelopment and would affect the privacy of people in two-storey buildings nearby.

Mr Cameron dismissed those claims and concern over water and waste connections. A joinery workshop will be demolished to make way for the flats.