Cleveleys MP's concern over Wyre school places

Paul Maynard MP
Paul Maynard MP

A Blackpool MP has demanded answers over new school places if plans for hundreds of new homes in his constituency are carried out.

Blackpool North and Cleveleys MP Paul Maynard (pictured) has called on education chiefs to explain how new school places can be provided should hundreds of new homes be built under Wyre’s Draft Local Plan.

The plan, currently out for consultation, could lead to a shortfall of 317 primary school places in Thornton. The town is earmarked to expand should the plan be adopted, and Mr Maynard wants assurances that pupils will not suffer as a result.

Documents supporting Wyre’s local plan show Thornton’s schools could not be expanded to handle the predicted increase in students. Mr Maynard has written to Lancashire County Council to ask what planning has been carried out to solve the problem.

He said: “Wyre’s Local Plan includes provision for more than 1,600 new homes in Thornton which is a significant expansion.

“It is essential that the people who move into these homes, and the people already living in Thornton have access to local doctors’ surgeries and school places.

“I note that in supporting documentation for the plan it is suggested a new two-form entry primary school will be required to cater for the anticipated increase in pupil numbers.

"It is important that planning for this provision begins now and not when homes start to be built. That is why I have written to Lancashire County Council to clarity the authority’s position.”

Mr Maynard also welcomed improvements to the local roads infrastructure which would also help deal with the increasing population in the area.

He said: “Highways England is looking to spend £100m of Government money on a new dual carriageway link which will end the delays at Singleton crossroads.

“I am also pleased to see plans in place to make improvements on Amounderness Way. It is clear there is a growing consensus that tackling the problems west of the River Wyre roundabout is a priority for motorists and I will continue to press for vital upgrades.

“Problems on these routes have caused significant issues for commuters and have been a barrier to investment.”

County Councillor Susie Charles, Cabinet Member for Children, Young People and Schools, said: "The county council has a statutory duty to ensure that we have the right number of school places in any given part of the county and our officers work very hard to ensure that is the case.

Part of that work is responding to local developments and I am confident that, should the expansion described in this draft local plan go ahead, we will act to ensure that we have sufficient school places available."