Newton Mearns primary school extension 'not needed' after application withdrawn

An extension to a Newton Mearns primary school is not currently needed, a council official has said — with the project on hold.

East Renfrewshire Council had intended to carry out work at Crookfur Primary, on Capelrig Road, but recently withdrew a planning application.

The council official said it is anticipated “that we won’t need that extension” due to the projected number of future pupils at the school. He also said there had been “unfortunate delays” due to the cost.

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A report on the council’s capital programme stated the project had been “placed on hold pending clarification of the projected school roll”.

At a meeting on Wednesday, the official said: “We are able to look at least two years ahead and, at the moment, our anticipation is that we won’t need that extension and in terms of best value that wouldn’t be good for the council.

“However, until we’ve got that slightly longer three to five year trend, we’ve kept it in the capital plan to make sure we can respond to any potential changes.”

He was responding to a question from Cllr Andrew Morrison, Conservative, who said he understood the extension was “no longer required due to revised projections”.

The official said they had considered data on the number of registered four-year-olds and three-year-olds. “The school currently has 17 classrooms and two general purpose rooms and all of those 19 spaces are being used in the current year,” he added.

“The school is still very busy and we are engaging at the moment in terms of other spaces, outdoor areas and so on that we could look to improve.”

Cllr Morrison asked: “If projections change in the future, how quickly would we be able to move on proceeding with constructing an extension?”

The official said the council already has designs and “would be able to go out to tender very quickly”. “It normally takes at least 12 months from that period.

“That’s why we are using two to three years worth of data, rather than basing it on a single year, which could just be a fluctuation.”

The report added: “Revised information indicates that forecast pupil numbers are potentially in keeping with current capacity.

“It is considered prudent not to progress the project until further definitive information is received. Accordingly, current year costs have been reduced by £2.349m.”

The plans had included a single storey extension with an additional bin store building, engineering works (including platform lift), fencing and gates.

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