Highland Council has unveiled plans for the construction of a new nursery as part of expansions to provisions in Inverness.
The single-storey nursery will form an extension to Milton of Leys Primary School in the south of the city.
Council officials are seeking full planning approval for the construction of the property to the east of the school, with alterations to the existing road network.
The nursery would provide provisions for 96 nursery age children and has been earmarked for opening in August 2022.
The proposals arise as Aberdeen-based Kirkwood Homes move ahead with controversial plans for 800 new homes on the site of the former Fairways golf course, just two miles west of the school.
The £200 million development has attracted widespread objection, with council planners previously stating the land should be a no-go for future development.
The plans would provide a welcome increase to the number of nursery places available to families in the region, giving young families the opportunity to benefit from free nursery care funded by the Scottish Government.
Local councillor Ken Gowans welcomed the long overdue investment.
He said: “The Milton of Leys area is lacking in general amenities and infrastructure so this planning application is welcome progress.
“It was intended to open in 2019 but delays reaching an agreement with the developer and the pandemic restrictions have meant there have been frustrating delays.
“Greater nursery provision is needed and young families will have an opportunity to benefit from the additional 1140 hours of free nursery care being funded by the Scottish Government.”
What will be included?
If approved, the single-storey facility will feature two large classrooms, situated to the rear of the property, separated by a kitchen, store room and toilet block with changing room.
Upon entry through the reception area, the main hall will comprise of a cloakroom and main dining area with servery.
The building will have a similar façade to that of the existing school premises to complement the area’s infrastructure.
The local authority also proposes to alter the existing grounds at the city school to provide more fluent access to parents between the premises.
A 17-space car park will also be featured within the grounds.
A council spokeswoman said: “The new building is designed to provide accommodation for at least 96 nursery age children to deliver the expanded Early Learning and Childcare service, with a planned opening date of August 2022.
“It will also provide out-of-school care for primary age children. The existing nursery rooms in the main building will be converted to primary classrooms to increase the capacity of the school to meet the growing roll.”