Approval granted for new community campus

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Forfar’s new £24 million community campus has cleared the latest hurdle towards development by winning conditional planning consent.

Angus Council’s own application was considered last week by members of the development standards and backed unanimously by elected members.

Local councillor Lynne Devine, however, did query entrance arrangements to the site which would be off the A926 Forfar to Kirriemuir road, with only pedestrian and cycle access from Taylor Street.

As well as a state of the art new secondary school the campus, at the Forfar Academy site, will incorporate a community hub as well as a new swimming pool and other sports facilities for use by the school and the wider community.

Mrs Devine pointed out that the access would be close to a left-hand bend and raised concern that it would be too close, but the roads department said it has no objections provided there are suitable 90-metre visibility splays which it is confident can be achieved.

An objection had been raised by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) on the grounds of flood risk but has since been withdrawn following the provision of an acceptable drainage scheme.

At the time of going to press on Tuesday, members of the authority’s policy and resources committee were due to be updated on both the Forfar and Brechin campus schemes.

In his report, Craig Clement, service manager for Transforming Angus, said that designs have been adjusted following public engagement events and consultation with future users.

He said: “For example, there was considerable refinement of public areas to ensure flexibility is maximised, and the location of particular curriculum groups/specialist classrooms have been realigned to to encourage collaborative working and improve operational effectiveness.

“The location of the new building has been moved slightly in order to reduce the impact of poor ground conditions.”

Mr Clement added that is is hoped that some aspects of enabling work will be carried out in July and August with the aim of having the new complex ready for August 2016.