TAUHEEDUL Trust will move its boys school temporarily to Shadsworth while it makes a new bid to build an Islamic academy at its preferred site in Shear Brow.
Problems getting planning permission to demolish the Edinburgh House YMCA building in Clarence Street for the purpose-built premises make the proposed opening date of September impossible.
Governors have been forced to use a contingency plan of transferring the school from its current temporary location in Bicknell Street, Little Harwood, to the former Blakewater College on Shadsworth.
The new planning application proposes to deal with residents’ concerns about parking by building an underground car park for 20 vehicles.
This will allow it to bring back the multi-use games area. The development of the 700-pupil school on the site was thrown in to chaos in October when a High Court Judge ruled that dropping the games area for parking broke the council’s own rules.
Now the earliest the revised scheme can be considered by the Blackburn with Darwen borough planning committee is March 20.
Committee member Phil Riley said: “The original September opening date for the new school is now impossible. The Tauheedul Trust are proposing to move the school temporarily from its current site to the former Blakewater College on Shadsworth.
“The only downside is that pupils will still be traipsing across the town to get to class.”
Shadsworth councillor Tony Humphrys said: “I welcome Tauheedul coming to Blakewater. The school has been empty since last summer and this is a good use for the buildings and will stop them being vandalised.” Ansar Ali, of Clarence Street, one of the leading protestors against the YMCA plan, said: “I and other residents remain strongly opposed to the plan a 700 pupil school on the Edinburgh House site.
“It’s too many pupils at a school which would be in the wrong place. I think it should move to Blakewater College permanently.”
No-one from the Tauheedul Trust was available to comment.
Proposals for the first Muslim free school in the country were first proposed in 2011 but the scheme for a new four-storey building on Clarence Street have provoked bitter opposition from neighbours.