Plans for a replacement primary school at Whitecraig, East Lothian, were approved today (10 January 2023) at a meeting of the Council’s Planning Committee.

Throughout this process, the community’s views have been important to make sure we maximise the opportunities that such significant investment brings

A replacement primary school is needed in the village in response to a growing school population from ongoing and planned housebuilding in the area. The current building dates from 1959 and is in need of significant upgrade and expansion, which would be more effectively delivered through a replacement building suited to modern learning and which would support the community.

Considerable upgrade on the current facilities

The proposals were subject to an early consultation in November 2021 where the community was given the opportunity to share their feedback. The consultation concluded that the new school would feel like a considerable upgrade on the current facilities and welcomed by the community.

In response to the comments, a new four-way signalised junction with Whitecraig Road has been proposed to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety, a variety of landscaped spaces are included to provide opportunities for a range of school and community groups, and a new community entrance has been included on the north east façade to access for community user groups. These improvements are all reflected in the planning application which was approved by committee.

The replacement school will be constructed on land adjacent to the current facility. Containing eight classrooms and an integrated Early Years Centre, the exterior will consist of charcoal-coloured grey brick with copper coloured cladding and accents, including on some window surrounds. Once complete, the existing building will be safely demolished and the cleared spaces will be landscaped. It is expected that construction of the new school will begin in summer 2023 for occupation in early 2025.

Significant investment

Cabinet member for Education and Children’s and Family Services, Councillor Fiona Dugdale was pleased to see the proposals approved. She said: “The granting of planning approval means we can now move forward with this exciting project to deliver a new modern Whitecraig Primary school for learning and community use.

“Throughout this process, the community’s views have been important to make sure we maximise the opportunities that such significant investment brings. The changes that we have made to the plans in response to feedback we received in earlier consultation stages has been crucial to develop a facility that will benefit generations of learners and the wider Whitecraig community. I look forward to seeing the project develop in the coming months.”

The application is available to view online (item 04).

Published: Tuesday, 10th January 2023