THE move of an ‘outstanding’ special school eight miles from one town to another has come a step closer despite parental opposition.

Lancashire County Council has launched a feasibility study into a £3m transfer of Broadfield Specialist School in Oswaldtwistle to the premises of the former Hameldon Community College in Burnley by 2024.

The move would create an extra 60 places for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).

Hyndburn MP Sara Britcliffe and her Oswaldtwistle county councillor father Peter have called for full consultation with parents on the plan after 280 people joined a Facebook group opposed to the move.

The county council cabinet also approved a second feasibility study into creating a £1.4m new unit at Sir Tom Finney Community High School in Preston providing up to 100 new places.

The authority needs to create 213 new places for SEND children by 2024.

The strategy would also establish new SEND units attached to mainstream schools in Accrington, Burnley, Colne, Nelson.

Broadfield in Fielding Lane, twice rated ‘outstanding’ by government inspectors Ofsted, has 143 pupils with learning difficulties between 11 and 16, many on the autistic spectrum.

Hameldon Community College, which closed last year, is currently home to Oswaldtwistle’s Rhyddings Business and Enterprise School while building work is undertaken at its Haworth Street site.

The additional SEND units proposed for mainstream schools across the county would cost £4.32m providing 288 places.

County Cllr Britcliffe said: “I and Sara visited Broadfield and found staff and pupils were enthusiastic about a move to better premises. The current accommodation is far from ideal.

“What is important now is that there is a proper consultation with parents about the transfer as some children would have to travel further to school.”

Cllr Phillippa Williamson, the county council schools boss, said: “It is important SEND children have the most appropriate school place.

“The actions we have agreed will go some way towards addressing the need for more special school places in certain parts of the county.”

The county council is legally required to consult parents before any move of Broadfield to the Hameldon site.