11 November 2022

Plans for new primary school at Chapelton continue to progress

Plans for a new primary school at Chapelton are progressing with Aberdeenshire Council anticipating opening to pupils in 2026.

Changes are being made to the Section 75 agreement with developer Elsick Development Company, allowing the school to open in 2026, rather than on completion of the 489th house.

Once this has been finalised, there will be a formal consultation process, with public engagement due to take place next year.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Education and Children’s Services Committee chair Cllr Gillian Owen said: “We are still at the very early stages of the project and there will be a full public consultation process to ensure the community has its say.

“We have excellent experience in growing a new school – as with Hillside School in Portlethen - and it is always our goal to ensure all stakeholders are involved and feel ownership of the development, up to and beyond pupils walking through the gates for the first time.”

Chapelton is currently zoned to Newtonhill Primary School. The plan is to develop the new £10 million school over two phases, with the first to build a single stream school with capacity for 217 pupils but with facilities - such as PE, kitchen and dining hall - suitable for 434 pupils.

This would ensure any future expansion of the school in a second phase would be relatively straightforward, by providing a total of 14 classrooms to create a two-stream school.

The Duke of Fife, Director of Elsick Development Company, said the changes were ‘another major step forward in the progress of the town’.

He said: “We have always believed that education provision should be at the heart of what we are doing and have sought to take an active role in its formulation.

“We are extremely pleased and excited that the first primary school is soon to become a reality as an integral part of the community.”

The school will be funded in the longer term by Elsick Development Company, with Aberdeenshire Council making the initial payments to deliver the building and site facilities.

It is set to be built to the west of the already occupied area of the masterplan and will have a range of facilities, including sports pitches, which will be available to the wider Chapelton community.

Education and Children’s Services Committee vice-chair Cllr Anne Simpson said: “We want to ensure that every child has access to the best educational facilities and this new school at Chapelton will ensure that all children in the area have a local school as the town grows.

“We very much look forward to hearing more and we expect to have further reports next year with public engagement beginning in early spring.”