Verdict looming on school plan

Open day at KEQMS, Lytham St Annes, prior to the merger between Arnold and KEQMS schools.
Open day at KEQMS, Lytham St Annes, prior to the merger between Arnold and KEQMS schools.
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THE planning application to extend the King Edward and Queen Mary School site in readiness for a new era will be considered by councillors next week — and is being recommended for approval.

The United Church Schools Trust, the charity behind the merged Arnold King Edward School, has submitted plans which will allow for the accommodation of almost twice as many pupils as at present.

More than £6m will be spent on the new AKS school, which will include a new two-storey junior school building and a new sports block with fitness suite.

AKS is the result of the highly- controversial and long-contested merger of KEQMS with Blackpool’s Arnold School.

KEQMS parents battling against the merger only recently gave up their fight to overturn the move and the merger is now set to take effect from next September.

UCST has already announced, however, the current two sites will continues to operate as previously for the next academic year, with the hope that an extended site can be operative from September 2013.

The plans will be discussed next Wednesday by Fylde Council’s development management committee.

A Fylde Council spokesman said:

“This is quite a large-scale planning application and involves a two-storey extension and glazed link to the main building, refurbishment of the sports hall, a two-storey extension to the junior school, a multi-use games area, a new car-park and a new entrance and exit to the site.

“Officers are recommending councillors vote in favour, but the decision is entirely in the hands of elected councillors who will look closely at all aspects of the application.”

As well as the new buildings, UCST’s plan for the site includes extensive refurbishment which will result in a new Learning Resource Centre, a new sixth form centre, and new classrooms, music and drama spaces.

The application has already been discussed by St Annes Town Council, which made no comment on the proposals.