PLANS for a new early learning centre in Innerleithen are set to be given the green light.

Scottish Borders Council wants to build the extension at St Ronan's Primary to cater for up to 95 pre-school children.

The move comes in response to the Scottish government's pledge to increase free early learning and childcare hours from the current 600 each year to 1,140.

Across the country 214 nurseries have either been built, extended or refurbished to cater for the extended provision.

And, if planning committee members accept the recommendations on Monday, St Ronan's will be next in line.

The single-storey extension will have 15 spaces for two-to-three year olds and 80 spaces for three-to-five year olds.

Carlos Clarke, planning department team leader, said: "This is the council's response to meeting the Scottish Government's early learning initiative in Innerleithen, a scheme designed to increase entitlement to free early learning and childcare provision."

To make way for the new building, the existing play area, fenced nursery garden and water tank at the school will be moved.

There have been seven objections to the plans, mainly over increased noise, the visual impact, and the planned locating of the play area next to a working farm track.

But the planning department are happy with the proposals and are recommending councillors approve the application when they meet on Monday.

From August 2020 all three- and four-year-olds across Scotland, and all eligible two-year-olds, will benefit from the extended free hours.