School will keep its historic courts

Tennis courts at King Edward and Queen Mary School
Tennis courts at King Edward and Queen Mary School
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A PIECE of Fylde history is being preserved as a new-look school shapes up for the future.

The sunken tennis courts at King Edward and Queen Mary School, which have hosted sport for more than a century, will not now be turned into a car park under plans for expansion on the site – and Lytham St Annes Civic Society is delighted.

Society chairman Marion Coupe made an impassioned plea for the courts to be preserved at a meeting of Fylde Council’s Development Management Committee as it considered the £6.4m expansion plan by the new Arnold King Edward School.

A decision was deferred at that meeting so that councillors could be given more information and now the expansion plans have been given the go-ahead in principle, with new car parking accommodation now located elsewhere on the site.

“Yes, we are pleased that they have taken note of the community concern for such an attractive feature and are not going to destroy it,” said Mrs Coupe.

“On doing further research we now think that it may have been a croquet court when first constructed in 1908. It has been two tennis courts since 1942.”

The application for the expansion plans was made by the United Schools Church Trust (UCST), parent group of the merged KEQMS and Arnold School, Blackpool.

The aim is to build a new junior school, main school extension, new multi-use games area and sports hall on the site and the plan was agreed in principle subject to a decision over traffic issues delegated to committee chairman Coun Ben Aitken.

Following the highly-controversial merger, AKS will continue on its current separate sites from next September but hopes to move on to the expanded site at Clifton Drive South, St Annes in September 2013.

It has been occupied since 1908 by King Edward VII School, which merged in 1999 with Queen Mary School. founded on adjacent land in 1930, to become King Edward and Queen Mary School.

No-one from UCST was available for comment.