£5m school plan set to go ahead

Image of the planned �5m new primary school at Baron Road, Blackpool
Image of the planned �5m new primary school at Baron Road, Blackpool
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A new £5m primary school for Blackpool is set to get the go-ahead despite fears about the impact of traffic and noise on residents.

Councillors are being recommended to approve the application to build the school on an empty industrial site on Baron Road.

Some residents of nearby Seymour Road, situated off Bloomfield Road, have objected to the proposals – but town hall chiefs say the school is needed to meet a shortfall in primary school places in the resort.

Objectors fear the development will lead to traffic congestion, particularly from parents dropping off and picking up their children in cars.

They also called for reassurances nearby homes would not be damaged during construction work.

But a report to planners says peak times for congestion would be “confined to fairly short periods of the day”.

It adds: “There is a pressing need for additional primary school places in south Blackpool and the high quality of the proposed development will be of significant educational, social and regeneration benefit to this area. The application is therefore recommended for approval.”

The scheme, which was announced in January this year, will see a part single and part two-storey development built on the land which had formerly been earmarked for a housing development which did not go ahead.

It will cater for up to 420 pupils and 60 staff. The proposal includes 27 car parking spaces and 28 cycle parking spaces.

Education chiefs hope building work will begin as soon as possible if the proposal gets the go ahead when it goes before Blackpool Council’s planning committee on Monday.

It is anticipated the first pupils will be enrolled in September 2013, with classrooms filled on a year-by-year basis meaning the school will not reach full capacity until 2020.

It is being funded through a combination of government and council funding.

Susan Wilson, headteacher of Westcliff Primary School, Bispham, will run the school along with Westcliff which achieved academy status last year.

Under new government funding arrangements, only academy schools, which are free from local authority control, can now be built.

The proposals have been designed by Liverpool-based architects Nightingale Associates.

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