Fears over delay to £11.5m Elgin primary school build

Fears that temporary school at East End Primary will not cope with any Linkwood delay

SERIOUS CONCERNS HAVE emerged over the building of Elgin’s new Linkwood Primary School with councillors warned that work may not start on schedule in March next year.

The £11.5million project to provide the school is expected to be completed by 2019 – with pupils for the new facility already filling temporary space at East End Primary school.

However, council officials revealed on Wednesday that ownership of part of the land on which the build was to be made was causing some concern – with the council ready to press the start button but unable to do so.

The project is being undertaken by Springfield Properties – and they insisted that there was no delay with contracts under which they would secure the land from a third party, saying that all was in place.

Elgin City North councillor Paula Coy said that her fears were over the space available at East End Primary – and if it could cope with any further delays in creating the new school, which was originally intended to be built by next year.

She said: “They planned for three years in the annexe – I do not know if there is going to be space for another intake.  Parents really need to be kept informed about the project and what steps have to be taken if it is delayed.

“It is annoying because the council’s hands are tied – they have already offered help to speed it up, all they can do is wait.”

Graham Jarvis, the council head of lifelong learning, culture and sport, insisted that his officials had been constantly in touch with Springfield as negotiations over the land continued.  He said that the project team were on schedule and contractors were ready to go – but the issue remained the transfer of ownership of the ground.

He said: “We have been instructed to carry on as if it will be on time – we are ready to go, we are waiting to press the button.”

However, a spokesman for Springfield Properties said they were not aware of any delay, saying: “As far as we are concerned there is no delay.  We have been working with the council to help them achieve their delivery programme for Linkwood Primary School – contracts securing the land for development are already in place with land owners.

“The necessary legal agreements with Moray Council are currently being pursued through the normal planning process.”

The school is part of a masterplan for the south of Elgin that will see Springfield create as many as 2500 new homes and two schools.