ST Columba’s School in Kilmacolm has lodged a planning application to build a three-storey school development at a green-field site at Milton Wood in the village.
The proposal is already attracting strong protest with many vilagers voicing their opposition on a Facebook page.
The school want to build teaching and support facilities for its senior school at the wood, which is south of Lochwinnoch Road directly opposite and adjacent to their current senior school campus in Gryffe Road.
A document submitted with the planning application states that the existing campus is considered to be too constrained to meet current day needs and the requirement for more accommodation has been recognised for many years, although the school does not intend to increase the number of pupils attending. A previous application to build on the site of two large villas in Gryffe Road was refused in 2005.
The school decided to look at Milton Wood as its “last chance” to extend whilst remaining “fully embedded within the village.” The planning document explains: “The improvement is necessary in order for the school to remain competitive in its sector, and to remain and evolve together with the community of Kilmacolm.”
It is stated that the school would be carefully integrated into the existing landscape and, although three floors high, the buildings would only appear as two-storey when viewed from the Gryffe Road side.
Extra car spaces for the school and community would help solve parking and traffic problems.
The supporting document continues: “The new development at the Milton Wood site also provides the opportunity to maintain what is currently a largely unmanaged section of the woods. This area could be made safer through a strategy of undergrowth clearing and maintaining mature trees on the site. A more pleasant and safer environment could then be offered for the community using this section of Milton Wood.”
The application is seeking approval in principle and is pending consideration by Inverclyde Council. A separate detailed application would be required if the one in principle is agreed.