THERE is a “capacity risk” for Masterton Primary School in an area of Dunfermline where a further 1,100 houses are due to be built. 

But Fife Council says there’s no funding and no need for a fourth primary school in the town’s eastern expansion. 

Education chiefs are confident they’ll avoid the prospect of too many children and not enough classrooms and have already redrawn catchment areas. 

A Fife Council report, written in relation to plans for 14 properties at Masterton Park, which were later approved, said it was clear “this catchment area has a capacity risk”. It said the plans for 14 homes would not cause any particular issues, but added: “There are a number of sites in this area still to be developed which are in the same catchment. 

“A wider solution will therefore be sought for this greater risk and this will need to resolve a much wider issue.”

Dunfermline Eastern Expansion was granted outline planning consent in 1997 with around 10,000 houses to form a “major town expansion”. 

Three primary schools have been built, Duloch, Masterton and Carnegie, and the council says just over 1,100 new homes are still to be constructed. 

Housebuilding has already put pressure on the DEX schools and Carnegie is set for a £2m extension, funded by developer contributions, to cope with the new homes to be built on the old Hyundai site which is owned by Shepherd Offshore. 

Shelagh Mclean, head of education and children’s services, said: “The Dunfermline Eastern Expansion has seen significant development in recent years. 

“This has resulted in a number of families moving into the area and an increase in primary pupil population.

“Fife Council continues to monitor carefully the number of pupils at all of our schools and to use a range of information, including planned house building, to assess future need. 

“A number of houses have yet to be built in the area and there is currently sufficient capacity across the primary schools in the area to accommodate the anticipated pupils from these developments.”

She added: “At present, there is no capital funding to provide a fourth primary school in the eastern expansion area of Dunfermline.”

Part of their coping strategy is boundary changes with Masterton’s catchment area reducing in size, leading to a reduction in the number of children who will attend the school. 

It’s a longer-term fix as current pupils who are now outwith the catchment will not be relocated, but it could mean children from the same family attending different schools. 

Ms McLean explained: “The catchment realignment of Masterton, Canmore and Pitreavie primary schools, in August 2014, was carried out to ensure that the impact of future housebuilding in this area was incorporated into school roll projections, and all known housing at that time was included.

“We will continue to ensure that places are available for the projected number of pupils in our existing schools. This can be through the use of existing spaces that are adapted to provide additional numbers of classrooms, providing extra short-to-medium term capacity.”

The council also pointed out a new primary school will be built north of Halbeath, on a huge site between Townhill and Kingseat, if Taylor Wimpey’s plans for 1,400 homes are approved.