Blackpool school playground plan prompts noise complaints

St Kentigern's School
St Kentigern's School
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Neighbours fear plans to build an elevated play area at a Blackpool school will lead to "unacceptable noise levels".

The governors of St Kentigern's Primary School on Newton Drive want to provide more outdoor space for youngsters by creating a first floor decked area enclosed by a three metre high fence.

Blackpool Council's planning committee heard it was the only way to provide an extra play area at the school which is hemmed in by surrounding properties.

Councillors agreed to defer the application to a future meeting so further talks could be held between residents and the school.

Coun Simon Blackburn said the scheme represented "a dilemma" for councillors.

He said: "Is it possible to defer the application to see if the school and the residents can come up with a solution?"

People living on Bryan Road have objected to the proposal on the grounds of loss of privacy, noise and that it is out of keeping with the adjacent Raikes Hall Conservation Area.

Resident James Holmes told councillors while people expected some noise from living near a school, "this development is raised to such a level that the noise will be unacceptable and not of the level you expect in a residential area."

Lindsay Oram, representing St Kentigern's, said the school was more than 100 years old and over the years it had been extended, while pupil numbers increased, leaving less space for outdoor play.

He said: "It will be small children playing. Some people will find that a nuisance but others think it is as nice as birdsong."

Town hall planners, who had recommended approval of the application, said conditions would be attached to limit use of the area to an hour each school day, while an acoustic wall would reduce noise.