THE new Ardrossan Academy will only be built at the North Shore site if the council feels it is 100 per cent safe.

This comes following a ‘call-in’ from three North Ayrshire councillors who are concerned at the safety of the land on the former Shell-Mex site at the North Shore.

But their request to have nothing further done until a full risk assessment is completed was knocked back under the agreement that the decision on where the campus will be built was taken back to the full council, not just the Cabinet.

And North Ayrshire Council Chief Executive Craig Hatton offered assurance that nothing would be built on the land unless they felt safe.

Last week’s meeting of the Audit and Scrutiny Committee heard from Councillors Ronnie McNicol, Robert Barr and Timothy Billings who raised concerns about the site and similarities to a school built in Lanarkshire where the water was blue and reports of teachers contracting a rare type of cancer.

Cllr McNicol said: “This is a much needed replacement for Ardrossan Academy but no final decision on the proposed site should be considered until a full and formal risk assessment has taken place.”

He indicated that a sign saying that the land was contaminated had recently been removed and listed metals and contaminates that had been previously reported on the site, these included arsenic, nickel, cooper and zinc.

He added: “There has been health problems in teachers in North Lanarkshire – can we be assured this contamination is not the same?”

North Ayrshire Property Management and Investment Manager, Laurence Cree, spoke to the call-in and said: “We are aware of the problems but we can overcome these and there are technical solutions.

“The site in North Lanarkshire is different as it was a landfill site.

“Public assurance is very important and there is huge amount of public concern but lessons will be learned and fed in and if there are any changes in legislation, we will follow these.”

Craig Hatton said: “There is absolutely no way that we will be building on a site that is not safe.

“The historic site investigations mean we can look at these and use them to start to frame the discussion.

“The safety of our young people is absolutely paramount.”

North Ayrshire’s Council Leader, Joe Cullinane, was in attendance at the meeting and said: “I can give 100 per cent assurance that the site will not be built on unless it is safe.”

Now the council will move forward with their statutory consultation in to the plans for the new campus with a separate consultation being held in regards to the proposed move of Auchenharvie Swimming Pool.

The proposed campus at the North Shore site could include nursery, primary, secondary and further education, a swimming pool, gym facilities, a library and North Ayrshire Health and Social Care staff.

Funding is being sought from the Scottish Government with the possibility of early pilot funding for Ardrossan being available.