Merger schools reassurance over plan delay

Coun Maxine Chew
Coun Maxine Chew
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THE firm behind the controversial merger of two Fylde coast private school has reassured parents a delay in winning planning permission will not affect pupils.

The United Church Schools Trust (UCST), which is bringing King Edward and Queen Mary School (KEQMS), in St Annes, and South Shore school Arnold, together from September, had hoped to have expansion plans for KEQMS’ Clifton Drive South site approved this week.

But on Wednesday Fylde Council’s planning committee voted to defer the plans amid concerns about car parking and the height of the new two-storey junior school.

Coun Maxine Chew (pictured) said: “I really want to support this because it’s obviously going to be a thriving site. But I am not happy about the car parking at all.”

The school would have 166 spaces for 159 staff members, prompting concerns sixth form students would be forced onto neighbouring St Pauls Avenue.

The application will now be discussed at a later date and a spokesman for UCST – which hopes to complete building by September 2013 – said: “We look forward to providing the committee with the clarifications they have requested and considering the areas that they have highlighted for further discussion. We have built ample room into the programme for these discussions and the deferral does not impact on the construction timetable that we have planned.”