Plans to build a new £24million secondary school in Oban can now proceed after the Scottish Government gave it the go ahead.
Argyll and Bute Council’s planning committee wanted to grant permission in August but the case has to be referred to Scottish Minsters because of a formal objection from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE).
The HSE objected because the school on Soroba Road is about a quarter of a mile from a bulk liquefied natural gas storage facility at Lochavullin Road.
The new school will be on the site of the existing school.
The Scottish Government has now advised the council that the application will not be called in for review.
Policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “We are delighted the Scottish Government has endorsed the decision of the planning committee. The focus of the council’s planning service is on making things happen, supporting sustainable economic growth and regeneration. In trying to attract people and investment to the area quality facilities for educating our young people are a must.”
Councillor Rory Colville, Policy Lead for Education and Lifelong Learning, said: “We are focussed on providing young people in Oban, Lorn and the Isles with the best possible start in life and delivering a new school fit for the 21st century.
“Everyone involved in educating and supporting our young people is committed to realising the council’s ambition to make Argyll and Bute a place people choose to live, learn, work and do business.
“A new school will help to equip our children for the future, providing them with a fabulous facility in which they can learn and succeed, be ambitious and realise their full potential.
“This is one part of an ambitious £74million investment programme which will also provide new schools for children in Dunoon, Kirn and Campbeltown.”
The council is dedicating £13million to this project, with the remainder of the £24million project being funded through the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future programme.
The new building, which will be constructed on the grass rugby pitch at the existing school site, will increase the school’s capacity from 1,150 to 1,300.
Once the building is complete, pupils will move in and the old buildings will be demolished.