Fort William residents have complained to the Ombudsman over the way Highland Council granted itself planning permission for a new primary school in the Lochaber town.
They are also angry that they were led to believe the new school on Lundavra Road would be single-storey alongside the road, but had now discovered it would be more than 40ft high and would totally block their view of Loch Linnhe.
The 11-classroom school will replace the existing Fort William and Upper Achintore Primary Schools as part of a £36.5million project to provide new primary schools in the area.
Edward Griffiths’ home in Caithness Place is directly opposite the Lundavra Road site where building work started last week.
He said local people were angry that the plans had not been considered by members at a council meeting.
Instead, the application was passed by council officers under delegated powers.
He also pointed out that the final plan did not coincide with comments made following a planning inquiry when the council was granted permission for the greenfield site to be designated for development.
Mr Griffiths said: “The Scottish Office allowed the planning to go ahead and said it was good to see they were going to follow the contours of the land, it was going to be single-storey and set back from the road.
“This design is none of those things and yet it was never even been considered by local members.
“It just feels like the whole thing has been railroaded through because they wanted the development there and didn’t want any delays so I have written to the Ombudsman and had an acknowledgment that it will be looked into.”
Shona Robertson, who also lives in Caithness Place, said she and her husband David were also unhappy with the way the application had been handled and supported the complaint to the Ombudsman.
A Highland Council spokeswoman said: “The council has responded to concerns of residents who live adjacent to the site of the new primary school on Lundavra Road.
“Should any future investigation be undertaken by the Ombudsman, the council will of course offer its full cooperation.”
Lochaber area leader, Councillor Thomas MacLennan, said: “The school has gone through the planning process.
“If the residents on the other side of the road have objected to the Ombudsman, we should leave it in his hands and see what decision he comes to.”