Design delay hits primary schools’ extensions bid

Victoria Primary must wait for new classrooms. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Victoria Primary must wait for new classrooms. Picture: Ian Georgeson
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PLANS to add extensions to two city primary schools have been put on ice after councillors ordered changes to their designs.

New classrooms were planned for Trinity, Wardie, Granton and Victoria primary schools, but only Wardie and Granton were given the go-ahead by councillors on the development management sub-committee.

Councillors requested that the extension for Trinity included a south-facing window in order to gain the maximum amount of daylight.

They also asked for skylights to be considered in the designs.

The application will come back to the sub-committee on February 20 and is expected to be approved. The new classrooms at Trinity, Wardie and Granton primaries are expected to be ready for use in August.

But councillors raised concerns about the appearance of the planned extension to Victoria Primary School as it is in a conservation area. Council chiefs will now reconsider that proposal, with the planning application not expected to be discussed at the next sub-
committee meeting.

Last month the News told how heritage watchdog the Cockburn Association had slammed council plans to add modern extensions to the four primary schools. The body said the council would be better off spending the money on a whole new school instead.

Conservative education spokesman Councillor Jason Rust said the school closure programme under the last administration had “exacerbated this whole situation”.

Green education spokeswoman Councillor Melanie Main said the committee’s decision on the extensions had made it clear that “there cannot be one solution that fits all schools”. She said: “For future years we have to look at schools individually and provide each with a fit-for-purpose solution.”

A council spokeswoman said there was expected to be a 20 per cent rise in the number of pupils being registered at Edinburgh schools by 2020.

She added: “We will be returning to the committee with the Trinity application as soon as possible but carrying out further investigations before we finalise the application for Victoria.”