A PETITION with 250 signatures has been handed to Pendle Council to try to speed up plans for a new £3.5million school in Nelson.

Parents and governors at Whitefield Infant School, Norfolk Street gave the petition to members of the council’s Nelson Committee on Monday evening.

They are calling for plans to be passed for a new school to replace the cramped Victorian building that they are currently using that no longer has the capacity to cope with expanding rolls.

Blueprints for the replacement school were halted after London-based conservationist group SAVE Britain’s Heritage lodged a protest about the demolition of boarded-up terrace houses in Macleod Street, Appleby Street and Portland Street.

The school had previously overcome similar opposition from English Heritage and the Heritage Trust for the North West.

But on March 8 the SAVE application for a judicial review was withdrawn.

If planning permission is now finally granted next month then the new infants school could be open by October 2013.

Parent and governor Mrs Shaf Batool said: “We handed the petition in to say to the council that now SAVE no longer have an objection, we want Pendle Council and Lancashire County Council to hurry the process up.

“If the school is to be built by October 2013 like they hope then we would like to see planning permission granted and the site cleared as soon as possible.”