Councillors have cleared the way for work to begin on a replacement for Elgin High School.
Members of the planning and regulatory services committee at Moray Council agreed plans for the £26million project that will see the new school being built to the north-west of the existing buildings.
It is expected that work on the new Elgin High School will be completed late in 2017 – when the new build is in place the existing school will be demolished.
SNP Councillor for Elgin City South, Graham Leadbitter, welcomed the decision, saying: “The planning consent for Elgin’s High School is another critical step on the way to seeing the new school built.
“We have now passed all the major planning hurdles and it is now a matter of weeks till we see a spade in the ground.”
Councillor Pearl Paul added that the project will benefit “many thousands” of children over its lifetime as it replaces an existing school that has stood since 1978.
Councillors were informed that the main vehicular access to the school will be via an extension to Edgar Road although school buses will continue to use High School Drive.
The committee was also told that the existing school’s irregular shape with teaching units of different sizes and shapes is to be contrasted by a new teaching block that reflects the internal learning and organisational requirements of the school.
The planning application for the new school, which will accommodate 800 pupils, was advertised as a departure from the Moray development plan and attracted only one objection from a nearby resident.