Planners approve earlier start to lessons for Blackpool pupils

Pupils will be able to start school earlier after planners ruled lessons can now start at 9am instead of 10am.

By Shelagh Parkinson
Wednesday, 11th May 2022, 4:08 pm

The Blackpool and Fylde Alternative School was originally told classes should not begin at its premises on Dean Street in South Shore until 10am on a Monday so as not to disturb holidaymakers enjoying a lie in.

But a planning application to renew permission for the school to operate, has been approved with the earlier starting time allowed.

A council report says the original permission was " on the basis that holiday-makers staying on Dean Street would be likely to take advantage of the evening entertainment and night-time economy offer of the town centre and resort core.

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File picture of school pupils

"As such there was potential that they would return to their accommodation late at night.

"Whilst this would not affect the school operation, the arrival of a number of potentially noisy and boisterous young people relatively early in the morningwould have the potential to disturb tourists."

But during the three years the school has operated with temporary planning permission, no complaints have been received.

Planners used their delegated powers to renew the approval for the school and added "it is also considered that the hours of operation on a Monday morning could be relaxed so that the use could open at 9am as opposed to 10am."

The Blackpool and Fylde Alternative School, which also has premises on Abingdon Street in the town, provides lessons for 30 pupils at Dean Street, aged between 11 and 16 who have higher educational needs.

Planning permission has also been granted for an £85,000 scheme to convert The Oracle on St Annes Road, South Shore, into classrooms to increase capacity for pupils with special needs.

The building will be used by sixth formers from Park Community Academy on Whitegate Drive once alternations have been made, with the new facilities expected to be in place by September.

The academy, which is part of the Sea View Trust, has seen a rise in pupil numbers and needs more space.

The Oracle would still be shared with community groups, but they would not use it until later in the day.

Town hall planners, who approved the application using delegated powers, said: "It would not unduly compromise the existing use of the premises as a community facility and would help support the provision of quality higher education in Blackpool by making more efficient use of an existing facility."