Ministers approve Coatbridge school near old landfill
Controversial plans for a new secondary school to be built near a former landfill site in Lanarkshire have been approved by the Scottish government.
North Lanarkshire Council wants to build a £44m joint campus for St Ambrose High School and Drumpark School in Coatbridge.
It would be situated on green belt land in Drumpellier Country Park.
Campaigners had raised concerns about pollution at the site but ministers have given the proposal their backing.
The planning application was approved by councillors, subject to conditions, in April but had to be referred to the Scottish government for considerations because the council is the landowner and the development is contrary to the local plan for the area.
Local residents spoke out against the plans at a special planning hearing held by the council.
They raised fears about the safety of the site and said they were worried about methane gas escaping from the ground into the new school.
However, both the council and the developers insisted the site was safe.
The local authority also stressed that a new school building was badly needed due to the poor state of some of the accommodation pupils are currently being taught in.
The joint campus will have music and drama studios, specialist rooms for teaching hospitality, health and beauty and technical vocational skills, four flood-lit sports pitches and two full-size grass pitches.
Councillor Jim Logue, convener of learning and leisure services, welcomed the fact the development has been given the green light by ministers.
He said: "This is great news for the pupils, parents and teachers of both schools, as well as the wider community.
"The new campus has been sensitively considered in terms of scale, design and materials so that it is in keeping with the environment."
Work on the school will start once the evaluation of the final pricing for the construction contract is finalised and approved.