COUNTY education chiefs and borough councillors are at loggerheads over plans to extend a popular Colne children’s centre.

Bosses at Newtown Nursery are looking to build extensions to take in 16 youngsters each morning and afternoon session.

But planning officials from Pendle Council have voiced concerns that the move could lead to parking headaches around the town centre location.

In a letter written on behalf of deputy chief executive Philip Mousdale, the borough council has lodged a formal objection.

It says the application does not include enough on-site parking spaces, which is unsatisfactory, given current on-street parking problems.

The letter adds the significant need for car parking in the area is already ‘causing a loss of residential amenity and a danger to users of the site and surrounding highways’.

The initiative is part of a £7.2 million Lancashire County Council programme to provide more places for two-year-olds.

Nursery headteacher Lyn Rider told planners: “No-one currently uses the car park and it has not been used for parking for three years now.”

She said that of the 22 staff, 11 lived within walking distance, nine drove to work and parked nearby, with the others dropped off, or catching a bus.

An extra four staff would be required when the full 16 places were allocated, according to the headteacher.

She dismissed suggestions that a ‘significant amount’ of playground space would be lost. She said the main areas would be unaffected and there were plans to develop a new car park at the front of the building.

The proposals will be debated by the county council’s development control committee on Wednesday, May 21.