A £17 million project to build a new primary school and community hub under one roof is set to get underway after it was given the green light by councillors.
The proposal to replace Danderhall Primary School in Midlothian with a new school, nursery and community library and leisure facilities was approved by the local authority’s planning committee yesterday (Tuesday).
The new hub will be built on a 3.3 hectare site including where the current school sits and land at neighbouring Danderhall Recreation Ground, and will straddle Edmonstone Road in the village.
The plans include creating a C-shaped building south of the road and turning part of the site currently known locally as a “kick about” area into a car park with 124 spaces and two bus parking spaces.
Where the current school sits south of the road there are plans to create outdoor play areas and spaces including a multi-use games area, external play areas, an amphitheatre and a public plaza with public art.
Midlothian councillors last year agreed to set aside £17.1m for the project.
This week they approved detailed planning permission for the site.
Councillor Stephen Curran (Lab) raised concerns about the loss of the kick about area at the recreation ground, asking for reassurances that the newly created multi use games areas would be available out with school hours.
Peter Arnsdrof, the council’s development management manager, said it was intended to be a community facility.
He said: “Throughout discussions it has been openly discussed that the facilities will be used beyond the school hours.”
He addressed local residents concerns about the loss of the kick about area in his report adding that there were two existing football pitches on the recreation ground.
And he revealed the new sporting area would have floodlights.
He said: “At the pre-application consultation event there was a strong view expressed by local residents that the loss of the kick about area was acceptable in preference to the provision of a substantial car park to help mitigate parking and school drop-off problems.”