A NEW Inverkeithing High school will not be built on the existing site after councillors agreed to narrow down its location to two pieces of land.

The proposed facility is now set to be built on land north of the A921 near Hillend or at the Fleet Grounds in Rosyth.

Education chiefs say there would have had to be a whole-school "decant" of the existing building for at least two years to build on its current location which would cost an extra £12 million – restricting the available budget to deliver a new, state-of-the-art school.

Local councillor David Barratt said he had "mixed feelings" about the decision and called for community use facilities to be retained or copied at the new site.

"I am obviously very disappointed for the existing site," he said. "I think there were opportunities there but, that said, I think we were potentially onto a losing battle. That is where we are and now it is seeing what the next assessment in terms of land to the north of the A921 is and what we can do to preserve what is there.

"We now move forward with delivering the best we can for our communities and I did manage to agree an amendment to the recommendation asking that the council fully explore options to retain or replicate all current recreation and community use facilities, including a pool in Inverkeithing.

"I also asked that with remodelling of the school ruled out, progress is made with discussions around the demolition of the existing school to follow its replacement. Inverkeithing must not be left with another derelict site or building for years to come.

"I believe there are opportunities for the re-use of the wheels and these should be retained. Essentially they are standalone buildings. They are linked in with the rest of the school but there's a potential of them being used in the future.

"I think generally the feeling is disappointment. It is now a case of looking forward to seeing what the next step will be. Officers will now go away and do more detailed investigations and costs and hopefully come back next year with more detailed assessments and costs of the two sites.

"Any loss of the school and community use would be devastating to the town. The regeneration programme that has been going on and the business to the shops, there is a lot to be lost to Inverkeithing and limited gains to Rosyth, as where the school is being proposed there are no existing shops close enough to benefit in the same way as Inverkeithing does.

"I know in the residential area next to the Fleet Grounds there are residents who are slightly concerned about it."

Further investigations and assessments will now be carried out on the two remaining sites. As reported in the Press last week, both pose potential problems.

The A921 site (west) is "located in a high-risk flood area" and would require a new access road with a "substantial ramp" due to the slope of the land and is at the "wrong side" of a 60mph road, meaning a pedestrian footbridge costing up to £2m may be required. Overhead high-voltage electricity cables would also need to be diverted.

Classed as prime agricultural land, the west site has "extensive strands of Giant Hogweed" almost impossible to eradicate and the east site is "infected with Japanese Knotweed", which could take up to four years to get rid of and is "likely to prolong delivery of a new school".

The Fleet Grounds is far removed from the current site and catchment areas but has reasonable access and would allow for "full flexibility". Part of the site is owned by the council, however, one section is owned by the Ministry of Defence and may be unavailable until 2024 due to a defence review.

Estimated costs for the A921 sites, excluding site acquisition, are £69m-£71m. It's £63m for the Fleet Grounds, however, the council would also have to spend significant sums to deliver the existing community-use facilities for Inverkeithing, Dalgety Bay and Aberdour communities.