Plans for the new Paisley Grammar School – which is expected to cost almost £75 million – have been given the green light by Renfrewshire councillors.
The state-of-the-art development, which will be built on land next to the former Chivas administration building in Renfrew Road, will replace the existing school on Glasgow Road.
The council has been granted planning permission for the secondary school and community campus, which will have sports pitches, outdoor learning and social spaces and a 300-seat theatre, among other modern facilities.
The decision to approve the blueprint at Tuesday’s planning and climate change policy board marks a major milestone in the progression of the project.
At the meeting, Councillor Kenny MacLaren, an SNP representative for Paisley Northwest, sought reassurance about safe walking routes – given the school will be located near a busy road – and suggested a site visit.
He said: “The Grammar at the current site, there’s hoards of pupils rush out there at lunchtime, they take over Glasgow Road.
“I can see the same happening in Renfrew Road as they try to make their way to McDonald’s and back during their lunch break.
“I’m concerned that there’s not enough detail in the safe routes there and wonder whether a site visit might be preferable to get a better outline of what can be done to ensure pupil safety.”
Officers highlighted some of the conditions attached to the recommendation to approve the application, which focus on the need to ensure routes promote, support and encourage travel to the school by walking or cycling.
Councillor John McNaughtan, an SNP representative for Paisley East and Central, asked if a site visit would have “implications” on the timescale for the development. “I think that’s important before we decide,” he said.
Councillor Jim Paterson, board convener and SNP representative for Renfrew South and Gallowhill, responded: “I can bring officers into clarify.
“I would think distinctly that there would probably be an implication on timescale for delivery should we have a site visit and take this to the next board.”
Alasdair Morrison, the council’s head of economy and development, added: “For clarification, it would almost certainly mean that we would then need to come back for a further decision of this board in the next cycle, which would be March, so yes that would impact on the programme for delivery of the new school.
“It’s currently intended that they would be on-site in March, the contractor.”
The application was given the go-ahead after 13 board members voted for granting immediate permission, with two backing a site visit.
It has previously been estimated the school will be complete in the summer of 2026.
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