THE new £30million Additional Support Needs school and respite centre set for Stevenston has been given the green light by council planners.

The school, which will replace the four current ASN schools in North Ayrshire, will be housed next to Auchenharvie Academy with a respite and residential unit being built at the far side of the current playing fields.

On Monday afternoon, there was a special meeting of North Ayrshire Council’s planning to discuss the new build.

As well as the school and residential unit there will be external play and sport facilities, a polytunnel and parking and road provisions for staff, visitors and service users.

The new school will also include nursery school provision for children with additional needs, something that is not currently present at the current schools.

As well as being a welcoming school environment, the building will encompass offices and meeting rooms, staff room, pupil changing facilities, gym/games hall, a hydrotherapy and learners’ pool, music and drama rooms, soft-play and various other therapy rooms.

We previously reported that almost 100 per cent of the parents, carers and teachers who were consulted on the new school welcomed it.

Also approved at the meeting was a new all-weather sports pitch with floodlighting and a 340m running track. These facilities would be shared with Auchenharvie Academy and would also be available for community use.

Investigations of the ground conditions at the site were undertaken by a firm of consulting engineers. The study, a combination of desk studies and intrusive investigations, shows that the site has not previously been built upon and is not contaminated, although it is known that coal workings have taken place below the ground in the past. The site is considered by the consulting engineers to be suitable for the proposed development and subsequent foundation designs for a building warrant would be informed by the geotechnical and coal mining assessment.

Building work will start later this year.