CONCERNS have been raised about plans to expand a village school to cope with demand caused by nearby housing developments.
A consultation has begun into expanding Barrow Primary School which would gradually increase the number of children from 140 to 210.
Council bosses are proposing increasing the reception intake from 20 to 30 pupils each year from September 2019.
They have predicted a shortfall of places due to ‘a significant level of development planned in the area’ which includes 600 new houses between Barrow and Whalley.
There are also planned expansions of St Leonard’s CE and St Mary’s RC Primary School in Langho and Whalley CE Primary School at a later stage.
Parent Sarah Parry, whose two children Rosie, five, and Esme, seven, go to the Whalley Road school which was rated ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, said a new school should be built to cope with the extra places created from major developments.
Parents are even forced to use a pub carpark when they pick up and drop off their children but the future of that is not secure as it is for sale, she said.
The 40-year-old businesswoman said: “It is 70 more children and we have 600 odd houses being built between Barrow and Whalley.
“If half of those have children that’s 300 and if half of those are in secondary school that is still 150 - where are they going to go?
“The school governors and council should say to developers ‘if you are allowing these houses to be built you need to provide the infrastructure’
“They need to say they are at capacity.
“They will have to stagger playtimes as there will be too many children at playtimes for the amount of staff. There are too many as it is.
“It is going to be too congested and there will be no where to park. Shops are already suffering because of a lack of parking. We are just building and building. This is a wider issue than the school places.”
Mike Kirby, Lancashire County Council’s director of corporate commissioning, said: “Local housing development in the Ribble Valley has led to increased demand for places in the area and these proposals look to provide those places by expanding existing schools rather than establishing new schools, in line with the council’s policy.”
He added no decisions have been taken and the consultation will run until June 9.
To have your say email email@example.com or phone 01772 536289 before June 9.