Highland Council has decided that a new Gaelic school being built in Lochaber will not be moved or lowered, despite complaints from locals that it will block their views of Ben Nevis.
Hopes of a compromise fell after a recent meeting between senior council officials and members of the local community.
People living near the site of the new £7million Gaelic Medium Primary School on Ardgour Road, Caol, complained that they were misled on the building’s height.
They claimed they were unaware that the single-storey main building was going to be around 20ft high and that the sports hall would be almost 40ft high.
They also said that the wrong type of buildings – two-storey instead of bungalows – were shown beside the school in the three-dimensional plans.
This week, senior Highland Council officials met Caol Community Council, neighbouring residents, and local elected members, to discuss the new school.
Council chief executive, Steve Barron, said: “I am satisfied that the proper statutory planning processes have taken place for the new Gaelic school in Lochaber.
“There were numerous opportunities for people to respond during the process and it is unfortunate that we did not receive any objections during that phase. Indeed the only response we did receive were positive.
“Moving the building or lowering it however, now that building is underway, are just not viable options and both have prohibitive costs.
“Whilst we have complied with proper planning processes, I am sure there are lessons to be learned as to how we communicate with communities and I am keen that we learn those lessons and strive to improve how we keep people informed.”
However Sandy Watson, chairman of Caol Community Council, said that the council officials did not listen to what the community had to say during the meeting.
He added: “I am really disappointed. I am quite annoyed at the fact all these residents get their hopes up and go down to these meetings to discover that nothing is being offered.
“This building is actually going to block out sunlight and during the winter time there is going to be permanent frost, meaning that people won’t be able to go into their gardens.
“We believed it was going to be a much smaller building than it was. The plans we were given were misleading.
“But we have not finished. We are still going to carry on to try and fight it.”