PLANS to double the size of a Warrington primary school to cater for an expected increase in the number of school-aged children in the area have been given the go-ahead.
Members of Warrington Borough Council’s development management committee have approved extensions at Grappenhall Heys Primary School, together with an increase in car parking facilities to provide room for an additional 21 cars.
The scheme would normally have been considered inappropriate in the Green Belt, but there are “very special circumstances” to allow it to go ahead, the committee decided.
At present, the school has about 210 pupils, excluding nursery. But the extension will increase capacity by a further 210 giving a total of 420 pupils and about 26 nursery places.
The number of classrooms would increase from nine to 16.
There were no objections from nearby residents.
Some 1050 new homes are due to be built in South Warrington by 2023, including 400 in the Grappenhall area. This would result in about 231 additional school-age children.
“There is a clear and convincing justification for the expansion of the school,” a report to the committee states.
“The very small amount of encroachment into the Green Belt is considered to be outweighed by the overall benefits of the scheme.
Sport England has been consulted and has indicated that the proposed building affects only land that could not form part of a playing pitch nor reduce the of any existing playing pitch.