A £2.2million project to increase capacity at a Burnley school has been given the green light by Lancashire County Council.

Holly Grove Community Special School, which forms part of the Burnley Campus, in Barden Lane, will create space for 20 extra pupils.

The expansion will see new classrooms built for neighbouring Barden Primary School, which will release existing accommodation for Holly Grove, much of it already equipped with specialist fixtures and fittings.

The full costs of the project will be met by using £1.8million from the LCCs existing capital programme and £400,000 in contributions from Barden Primary School and Holly Grove itself.

A report by LCC said Holly Grove, which is for children aged two to 11 with generic learning difficulties, had taken on an increasing number of youngsters ‘who also present challenging behaviour, complex health needs and autism’ It added: “For a number of years, the school has had to admit in excess of its approved number of 50 due to demand in the area.

“As of January 2014 there were 68 pupils on roll. The proposal aims to formalise the approved number at 70 and provide additional accommodation, therefore addressing this issue.”

Burnley Campus includes Holly Grove Community Special School, Thomas Whitham Sixth Form College, Barden Primary School, Reedley Hallows Nursery and Children’s Centre, Burnley Campus Library and Burnley and Pendle Faith Centre.

The LCC report added: “It is considered that if additional special school places are not provided in Burnley, there will be insufficient local special school places for children living in the area.

“These pupils would then need to be found accommodation in alternative schools, possibly out of the immediate area or in non-LCC maintained provision, which would lead to an increased demand on the public purse.”