Row over 'offenders' school

A HIGHLAND residential school for children with behavioural problems is at the centre of a row with angry residents calling on the Scottish Executive to intervene.

Raddery School in Ross-shire, which was founded in 1979, closed in June 2001 due to financial problems.

Now multi-million pound plans have been laid to re-open the school with improved facilities.

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Provisional planning permission to build an education block, sports hall and extra sleeping accommodation at the Edwardian mansion of Raddery House, near Fortrose, was granted by council planners last month.

However, residents have accused the school board of deceiving them about the type of children they will be admitting .

Like the previous arrangement, pupils will be children who have been taken into care by local authorities all over Scotland, including those who have suffered abuse, educational problems, or family breakdowns. However, this time some may be young offenders.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Executive said Highland Council had referred the planning matter to them because of opposition.

She added: "Whether to grant planning permission or not is still under consideration and their views will be taken into account."

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