Go-ahead for new Nelson primary school

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Plans for a new primary school in Nelson have been approved by county councillors.

Lancashire County Council’s Development Control Committee gave the green light to building the replacement St Paul’s CE Primary School on the site of the old Edge End High School site in Hibson Road.

Construction of the new school will begin in the autumn, with completion due in September of next year.

It will have capacity for 420 pupils and ease congestion which has existed at the current school in Halifax Road for several years.

When the decision to close the school was taken, proposals to build its replacement on the old Mansfield High School site in Brierfield caused a massive protest by parents who were angered the new school was to built in neighbouring St Luke’s parish, Brierfield rather than in St Paul’s – and a long campaign was launched and was eventually successful.

County Coun. Azhar Ali said: “As someone who was involved in the Keep St Paul’s School in Nelson campaign, this is really good news and I am looking forward to work starting in the autumn.”

Pendle councillor for Walverden ward where both the old and new school sites are, Julie Henderson, said: “I welcome this development and congratulate all the parents and residents of Nelson who supported the campaign to keep the school in Nelson when the Conservative-led county council was trying to move it to Brierfield, something which was clearly a nonsensical step as it would not have been in the parish.”

And former County Coun. George Adam, who stood down at the elections last month, said: “I am really delighted with this decision and I am looking forward to seeing work on the new school get under way.”

The approved plans are for a single-storey school building, car park, a new internal access road, play areas, two playgrounds with marked out courts and security fencing.

A report to councillors said the development would provide a school with improved teaching accommodation and outdoor space provision.

“The new facilities would contribute towards the future needs of the community and are supported by both local and national planning policies.

“The footprint of the school and playing areas would not compromise residential amenity.

“There would be no detrimental impact on highway safety or amenity subject to conditions,” said the report.

The adjacent playing fields previously used by Edge End High School are being developed for use by Pendle Council.

l The current St Paul’s School has a capacity for around 240 pupils – just more than half of that envisaged at the new school – in six classes and a foundation unit.