Planning permission is given for two new schools on Ravenscraig shared campus

Councillors have approved the construction of a new shared primary school campus in Ravenscraig.

North Lanarkshire Council’s education and families committee gave the go-ahead for the new campus, which will house denominational and non-denominational schools, during a recent online meeting.

Councillors discussed the findings from consultations on both of these and guidance from Education Scotland.

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The consultation was open to the public via the council website for an extended 250-day period. due to the pandemic and after compiling the results council officers recommended proceeding with the construction and related alterations to catchment areas.A planning application for the construction will also be considered at a full planning hearing. and the need for new schools is a result of continuing housebuilding on the former site of the steelworks.Councillor Norah Mooney (Labour, Thorniewood) asked how the altered catchment areas would affect younger siblings of children who stayed in their present school rather than transfer to the new one, and with regard to the denominational school called for dialogue with the church to prevent issues with rezoning schools within its parishes.

She also asked if secondary school zoning would be affected as children took up their places in both primaries.Convenor Frank McNally (Labour, Mossend and Holytown) replied that it was difficult to predict future developments but the council did not build schools that are too small and lessons had been learned from every project.Derek Brown confirmed that although there had been issues historically he was satisfied officers would be able to accommodate these and fellow officer Gerard McLaughlin confirmed the council had “clear and open” communication with the dioceses.Councillor Agnes Magowan (SNP, Motherwell South East and Ravenscraig) welcomed the plans but added she was “extremely worried” about the proximity of the campus to the planned arterial road connecting the M74 and M8.Charles McCabe said the council would have to put faith in the planning system to ensure mitigation was in place.The plan was agreed unanimously and the project will continue to be monitored.

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