Invasive weed fails to strangle proposals to expand Blackpool school

An artist's impression of the development
An artist's impression of the development
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Plans to expand a Blackpool school have been appoved despite concerns over issues including the spread of Japanese Knotweed.

The scheme will see a single storey extension built to the Jubilee building at Park Community Academy on Whitegate Drive and an additional outdoor area created.

Architects say an infestation of the invasive plant Japanese Knotweed on the site is being treated after a resident of neighbouring Kenwyn Avenue warned any development must take account of the problem.

During consultation with neighbours, concerns were also raised about drainage due to an underground stream which runs under some properties in the area, and about noise if after-school clubs were to be held.

But agent Creative SPARC Architects, based in Lytham, said all the issues had been taken into account.

A letter to planners said: "Regarding the Japanese Knotweed, we have been informed by the school there is an ongoing programme of treatment for the knotweed which is sited between the neighbour's wall and the school’s boundary fence.

"The local authority is treating this via the guidelines and are in year four of the six year cycle.

"The knotweed has been significantly reduced as a result of this treatment, and remains under control and contained."

The architect added precautions would be taken during the construction to ensure the treatment continued.

Drainage measures had been installed when the Jubilee Building was built in 2018 while the premises would only be used during school hours between 8.30am and 4.30pm from Monday to Friday.

The Jubilee Building provided five new classrooms to meet demand for places at the school but further facilities are needed for nursery age children, and those aged between five and seven.

The additional space will include a classroom, an art room and a therapy room while a bigger play area and a therapy gardens will also be provided.