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‘We are elated’ - approval of plans for new Nairn Academy sparks joy

By Federica Stefani

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An artist impression of the new Nairn Academy.
An artist impression of the new Nairn Academy.

Nairn councillors have expressed their satisfaction after plans for a new secondary school in Nairn were given the green light yesterday.

The last meeting of the south planning applications committee saw the planning application for the £54 million school approved, with no objection raised from members during the debate.

Despite some concerns over the potential move of the library to the new building, capacity and road safety were raised, councillors overwhelmingly supported the project for what is felt as a “much-needed” development.

Nairn provost councillor Laurie Fraser said he felt “elated” that the plans were unanimously approved.

Cllr Laurie Fraser (Ind). Picture: Callum Mackay.
Cllr Laurie Fraser (Ind). Picture: Callum Mackay.

He said: “We all wanted it to go through, and in the past months there has been very little in terms of objections coming through when compared to other projects.

“We are delighted, the current building is just no longer fit for purpose. This is very positive news for the area.”

He said the hope is for works to start in July.

The new three-storey school will be built near the current academy in Duncan Drive, and is expected to have a capacity of more than 1000 pupils (adding almost 400 spaces to the current roll of 680 pupils).

Nairn and Cawdor councillor Barbara Jarvie welcomed the step forward in the project.

Cllr. Barbara Jarvie. Picture: James Mackenzie
Cllr. Barbara Jarvie. Picture: James Mackenzie

She said: “It’s great news that the new Nairn Academy is finally going to see a spade in the ground in mid-July hopefully.

“This will be a much-needed, de-stressing boost to staff and pupils, giving good reason to return with enthusiasm after the summer and see visible progress for their well overdue new school.

“Any unavoidable disruption to neighbours has been carefully planned to be kept to a minimum, and I thank them ahead of time for their support and patience as they too, eventually will benefit from a much more pleasant view. I have also been assured they will be pre-issued with helpful contact numbers if there are any questions and/or issues during the project.”

The current building for Nairn Academy. Picture: James Mackenzie.
The current building for Nairn Academy. Picture: James Mackenzie.

Lucy Harding, a member of the parent council at Nairn Academy, added: “We are absolutely delighted. Things take a very long time to get done nowadays but the fact that we are getting a new school is absolutely brilliant.

“It’s a really constructive and positive way forward for our population - obviously having a good secondary school is really important to attract families to the area.

“Hopefully my daughter will see some of the benefits! Of course all of these things are long-term projects but we hope she will be able to see the new school finished.

“I think students are really excited about the new school and it would be great to have new facilities.”

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