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New academy plan in Blackburn heading for refusal
TAUHEEDUL Trust’s bid to build a boys’ school in Blackburn looks set to be blocked again.
Despite more than halving the initial intake from 700 to 300 at the proposed site for the Islamic academy in Shear Brow, officers have recommended planners refuse the new application on Thursday.
The trust submitted a revised plan after a High Court decision quashing permission to demolish the former YMCA building in Clarence Street so the school could move to a new, purpose-built home.
Neighbours remain opposed, claiming the development would cause traffic and parking problems.
Four protest letters have been sent to Blackburn with Darwen Council, along with four supporting the scheme. Planning officials recommend refusal, saying it is ‘a substantial over-development of the site, evidenced by a lack of external space to meet the needs of pupils’.
They add in a report: “Insufficient information has been submitted to determine the proposal can be satisfactorily accommodated on the site with regards to residential amenity of nearby dwellings as well as highway safety.”
In the High Court in October, Judge Mark Pelling ruled advice given to councillors when they approved a revised scheme in August was incorrect.
The initial application fell foul of borough rules on parking and traffic congestion. The revised scheme with an extra 16 parking spaces replacing the outdoor games area was approved. Judge Pelling decided advice given by officials failed to leave an ‘acceptable’ amount of outdoor recreation space..
The latest application keeps the car park on the games area. It stresses pupils will be taken by minibus to sports pitches at Tauheedul’s Girls’ High School off Preston New Road, where there have been traffic problems.
Tauheedul Trust declined to comment in advance of the meeting.
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