Council ‘minded to grant’ permission for new Oban high school
Plans for a new £24 million modern education facility in Oban took a step forward yesterday after Argyll and Bute Council announced it was minded to grant planning permission for the new school.
Due to the formal objection from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), a statutory consultee, the council will now be notifying Scottish ministers who will then take a view, within 28 days, on whether or not to call the application in for their determination.
The council is dedicating £13m to the project, with the remainder being funded through the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future programme.
Policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said: “We are minded to approve this project which we feel will have a real benefit to people in Oban and Lorn for years to come. 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.”
The capacity of the new school allows for an increasing number of pupils, based on school roll forecasts and local development plan actions.
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 £74m investment programme which will also provide new schools for children in Dunoon, Kirn and Campbeltown.”
The project is being taken forward by hub North Scotland Ltd in partnership with the council and will see the current school site undergo significant changes over the next three years. The new building will be constructed on the grass rugby pitch at the current school site, with the 3G pitch remaining in use throughout.
Once the new building is complete pupils will move in and the old buildings will be demolished, freeing up much needed social space for pupils and improved bus drop-off and car parking provision.
The work on the new school is expected to be underway later this year.