Re-think call on school plan

Re-think urged: Councillors Allan Matthews and (below) David Owen have called for school chiefs to revisit plans
Re-think urged: Councillors Allan Matthews and (below) David Owen have called for school chiefs to revisit plans
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Bosses at a Blackpool primary school have been urged to think again over a proposed building extension.

Members of Blackpool Council’s planning committee have called on Baines Endowed CE Primary School to work with architects to find a design more “in keeping” with the existing buildings at its site in Penrose Avenue, Marton.

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun David Owen

Blackpool Councillor 'Coun David Owen

Councillors raised concerns about the possibility of a flat roof topping the proposed builds, saying they would prefer to see a pitched roof put there instead.

The proposed extension would see an enlarged staff room and media suite built, as well as additional office space and first aid room, should it eventually be given the green light.

Debating the plans at a planning meeting this week, Coun Allan Matthews said: “I’d be reluctant to pass it with a flat roof.

“I’d rather see it in-keeping with the roof already there.”

He added: “Experience tells me from my own property that insurance for a flat roof is a great deal higher so surely it’s less cost effective for a school extension.”

A report presented to councillors before Monday’s meeting describes the main school building as a high quality art deco design, which has been put forward for inclusion on the authority’s local list of buildings – structures which are deemed significant enough to deserve protection despite not having national Listed status.

Committee chairman Coun David Owen added: “If it starts to interfere with good design I think we should be a little wary.

“Blackpool was very well served in the 1920s and 1930s, we had council architects who came up with very fine buildings that stood the test of time and so, to me, why interfere with that concept?”

Coun Matthews replied: “We talk about heritage in buildings.

“Let’s be fair to what our heritage is and true to it.”

The committee decided to defer the decision to a later date. School headteacher Joanne Snape said: “The requested extension to the front of our school will really benefit school in providing additional space for offices, allowing us to meet with parents and other guests to the school.

It will also provide a work space for teaching staff which is vital but most importantly of all additional teaching space for our children.

“We are happy to keep working with the planning committee to find a way forward.”