Proposals to develop a new primary school at Craighall have taken a step forward with the granting of planning permission in principle for the project.

A new school is required due to the planned levels of growth in the area with 1500 homes approved within the adopted Local Development Plan for the wider Craighall site. The council is working with its development partner Hub South East to deliver a new primary school on a 3.1Ha site on land to the north of Old Craighall Village. jmarchitects has been appointed to the project and developed proposals to provide a modern and efficient learning environment that reflects the local area.

Distinctive roof

The school will be largely two-storey clad in brick with extensive use of glass to create a light-filled space. A distinctive roof shape designed to resemble the teeth of a saw has been chosen to link with the industrial heritage of the Craighall area. The building will house 14 classrooms, a multi-purpose hall and dining area and a library as well as offices, changing facilities and meeting rooms. Outdoor areas will provide hard and soft landscaped areas, grass sports pitches and a running track alongside tree planting and a woodland trail. 

Once completed, the school will provide accommodation for up to 420 learners across primaries 1-7, 64 staff and a nursery offering 100 places for 2-5 year olds. £19m has been set aside in the council’s capital programme for the works although the current construction climate means that costs are being carefully monitored. The school is due to be ready for occupation during academic year 2024/25.

High-quality environment for learning

Cabinet Member for Education, Families and Children’s Services Councillor Fiona Dugdale said: “We are pleased to see the project to deliver a new primary school at Craighall move forward with the granting of planning permission in principle. 

“The early proposals, which will be subject to further consultation in the planning process, highlight our vision for a high-quality environment for learning with outdoor spaces that also support the curriculum. We look forward to providing additional detail as the project progresses.”

Craighall Primary School is one of four new schools currently under development in East Lothian: Blindwells Primary School will welcome learners from the new town at Blindwells Development area to the north of Tranent in academic year 2024/25, the new school on the existing campus at Whitecraig Primary School is programmed for occupation in academic year 2024/25, while work on the new Wallyford Secondary Learning Campus is well advanced with the school due to open to learners in August 2023. Hub South East has been appointed as the council’s Development Partner for the Craighall, Blindwells and Wallyford projects. 

Progressive environmental targets

Roddy Clark, Hub South East’s Operations Director said:

“We’re delighted to reach the key milestone of achieving Planning Permission on the new Craighall Primary School, just one of a number of exciting learning estate projects we’re proud to have been entrusted to deliver in partnership with East Lothian Council.

“The designs for the new Craighall Primary have been developed using some of the Passivhaus principles, so pupils and staff will not only benefit from a modern new learning space, the building itself will be energy efficient and will assist our client in meeting progressive Scottish Government environmental targets. We look forward to working with our main contractor Balfour Beatty, for their first project since joining our supply chain, to make these plans a reality.”

Sustainable, health and inspiring

Claire Davie from jmarchitects said: “We are honoured to be part of the team selected to deliver the new Craighall Primary School for East Lothian Council. We are delighted to have reached such a significant milestone and look forward to bringing this project to life alongside Hub South East Scotland and Balfour Beatty. This new primary school is going to play an integral role in the expanding community at Craighall and we have endeavoured to develop a building which will provide them with a sustainable, healthy and inspiring learning environment.”

The planning application is available to view online.

Published: Wednesday, 30th November 2022