A Twenty-first Century Vision for a New Secondary School

Serving the Madras Catchment Area


The Following report was commissioned by the North Haugh Group in October 2010:

North Haugh Site, St Andrews

The above site has been identified as a potential location for the new Madras School and as a result of a Fife Council briefing on its suitability Elders Consulting Engineers were requested by yourself to carry out a visual walkover of the site and to report on any potential development difficulties which could cause the site to be technically challenging.

Our walkover was carried out on 1 November 2012 and consisted of visually inspecting the site to the south of the pond, the Swilken Burn, the land to the west of the Burn (The Arboretum) and the wooded area immediately to the south of the A91. No intrusive inspections were undertaken and this report relies on observations made on site.

Site Development


Access to the site could be achieved by extending the current University road network or else by a junction off the new proposed A91 distributor road.

We understand that access from the new facility to the Station Park playing fields is required and that an underpass crossing of the A91 is proposed. The construction of this would have minimal impact on the A91 as it could be tunnelled without disruption to traffic ( the road is already elevated above the adjacent ground ): any temporary closure could be accommodated, however, by diversion onto Station Road.

Car parking would be to the north of the site, the lower level area to the south west of the pond or the 'Arboretum'.

Building Location

The ground profile is reasonably flat although sloping upwards to the south of the site. In order to achieve drainage falls and softer ground the building could be located towards the middle to south of the site. Ground conditions appear to be good for constructing on given the extensive development on adjacent sites by the University and it is likely that conventional strip foundations would be appropriate
for this site. It would, however, be necessary to carry out a thorough ground investigation to substantiate this view.

The majority of the site was dry and firm except for the area nearest the existing University access road which was soft.


The facility would be drained by way of a suitable SUDS regime. Rainwater discharge could be filtered and attenuated as necessary before discharging into the existing pond. A suitable SUDS design incorporating land run-off would result in the pond receiving rain water infiltration at the same rate, or better, than it does at present. Cut off drains and remote retaining walls from the new building would prevent rainwater inundation from the higher ground above the new facility.

The current, low lying area, of the site immediately to the south east of the pond which is currently holding water could be effectively drained by the installation of field drains, again utilising controlled discharge into the pond .

Foul drainage from the new building could be discharged into existing sewers if possible or else taken to a new SUDS system such as an on site wet land. It should be noted that there are various SUDS solutions and further research and design would be undertaken to determine the most appropriate for this particular site. The Swilken Burn can also receive rainwater run-off although, as it is currently silted up and overgrown, it will require to be cleaned out in order to achieve its full discharge potential.


The existing utilities provision has not been considered as part of this report and further consultation with the service providers will be required.


In our opinion this site is technically well suited to be developed due to ease of access, good ground conditions and the existing SUDS provision and there appear to be, on the face of it, no particular issues which could be considered to be abnormal development constraints except for the underpass access.