A TINY “vocal minority” commenting on the Peebles High School build plan post “intolerant and unkind” comments on social media, the town’s community council has heard.

Members were told last Thursday that there are still concerns about what the Parents Council new build sub group call open plan classrooms.

Parents Council spokesman Tristan Compton said: “Twenty-seven per cent open plan still sounds like quite a lot.”

Tweeddale West councillor Drummond Begg, of the Liberal Democrats, referred to the open plan classrooms as flexible spaces.

Mr Begg said: “My only ask going forward is that we are careful about language.

“This is a massive project and there is unlikely to be uniformity across the whole community.

“There will be comments on social media which appear at the door of intolerance and unkindness.

“Can we move away from calling it open plan?

“There are places and flexible spaces which are not truly open plan.”

Tweeddale West councillor Viv Thomson said: “We know these flexible spaces don’t have to be used for every class.

“As teaching moves on I hope we are not shutting down opportunities.”

Scottish Borders Council (SBC) project manager Stephen Renwick added: “The building will be there for many generations ahead.”

Mr Begg added: “Talking to folk (at schools elsewhere) I was asked how do we teach Mandarin Chinese in Peebles – we don’t, but it is taught in some areas of Scotland.

“There are big opportunities but, potentially, we do not necessarily need 30 chairs in a classroom.”

Mr Compton said he agreed about the way open space is described.

“I have always tried to stress it is about flexible space,” said Mr Compton. “But if a room is not flexible, it is because it is open.”

Tweeddale East councillor Julie Pirone said she had a further meeting set up with Heather Young of the Deaf Children’s Group.

The meeting also heard that an environmental impact assessment has not been completed and Ms Young warned that SBC should not adopt a “tick box” approach.

Peebles High School was an agenda item at West Linton Community Council on Monday evening, but members did not comment further, although Mr Begg said: “The school in the future will not look like the past and hopefully there will be space for evolution.”