A POPULAR primary school looks set to expand in a bid to cope with growing numbers of children.
Rising birth rates and an influx of new housing means primary schools across Lytham and St Annes will soon be full to capacity – and Heyhouses CE Primary School is the latest to become the subject of an expansion bid.
Lancashire County Council want the St Annes school – already split over two sites between Clarendon Road North and St Annes Road East – to take in three classes every year from 2012, meaning it could eventually cater for up to 630 children.
And, despite reservations about possible traffic problems, the plans have been welcomed by local councillors.
Central ward councillor Sue Fazackerley said: “We do need more primary school places and my initial reaction is it’s a good thing.
“Church schools have excellent reputations and are high on the list of parents’ choices for educating their children.
“There might be a problem with traffic because St Annes Road East is one of the main routes into the town, but subject to those issues being addressed I welcome the expansion.”
The county council has already given Lytham Hall Park Primary School, in Lytham, the go-ahead to move to two-form entry and planning permission for permanent new classrooms was approved earlier this month.
Heyhouses hope to be able to begin taking in an additional 20 pupils from September 2012, and has applied for planning permission from Fylde Council for a temporary classroom on the infant site, on St Annes Road East.
A consultation period around permanent expansion is underway and headteacher Elizabeth Hodgson said: “The proposals are for the school to increase the number of pupils admitted in to the school from 490 to 630. “The expansion has been made necessary because the birth rate in Fylde is rising and at the same time significant housing development is taking place. This means that the current capacity of the primary schools in the area is insufficient to meet the increased demand for school places.”
The recently approved Queensway development of 1,150 homes is expected to put extra pressure on primary school places in St Annes, although land will be provided for a school as part of the development. A decision on the expansion is expected in December.