New Duns Primary plans under scrutiny

The former high school site in Duns

The former high school site in Duns

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Reservations have been voiced over changes to the proposed plans to change the old Duns High School into the town’s Primary School.

Duns Community Council received a presentation at their October meeting from architect David McKnight, representatives of Graham Construction and James Darrie of Scottish Borders Council.

The presentation focused on the changes that would be made to the Old High School site in order for it to be used as a primary school.

The aim is for the primary school to be opened in the first half of 2016.

Councillors were shown plans of the stages that the building and the playground areas would go through.

Parking provision was also discussed.

The Community Council has reservations about the safety aspect of the parking arrangement as well as the practicality of having the main entrance at the rear of the building while parking was at the front.

Chairman Andrew Mitchell said that the main concern would be the single-track road leading to the school.

“We are worried about drivers using that road at busy times,” he said, “especially when children are entering or leaving the school.

“And we have been told that we cannot widen the road.”

A further change will impact the parking once there are two schools on either side of the A6105 as it leaves Duns.

“We have been told that the current parking spaces would be for the use of the new High School. Primary School parking would be at the rear of the old building, and would be made easier with the demolition of two wings.”

The council has also requested double yellow lines on the road at the front of the building and a longer barrier erected in front of the steps leading to what is at present the front of the building.

Dismay was also voiced at the plan to decrease the size of the assembly hall as it had been understood that this hall would remain as is in order to be used by the public.

“It is a good sized hall,with an excellent stage,” said Mr Mitchell. “We were disappointed to hear that it may be reduced in size, because it would be great for social use.

“The reduction in size would be due to the installation of changing rooms for the schoolchildren,” he went on, “even though facilities exist.”