Scottish Government approves £24m Oban High School
Argyll and Bute Council announced in August that it was minded to approve the facility but that it notified Scottish Minsters 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 Scottish Government has now advised the council that the application will not be called in for their determination.
Policy lead for planning and regulatory services, Councillor David Kinniburgh, said the news means the project can move forward.
He 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, added: “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 council is dedicating £13m to the project, with the remainder being funded through the Scottish Government’s Schools for the Future programme.
The capacity of the new school allows for an increasing number of pupils, based on school roll forecasts and local development plan actions.
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.