A POPULAR primary school can go ahead with the demolition of its chapel and hall to create extra space for pupils.

Plans for the new offices and classroom buildings at Barrow Primary School on Old Row have been given the green light by Lancashire County Council.

It comes after education chiefs had to increase the number of school places in 2016 to cope with demand for places from Barrow and nearby villages.

Barrow Primary School increased its admissions in reception year from 20 to 30 places in September 2019.

In the planning statement it said: “The additional 10 reception places in September 2019 and for each following year would result in the school’s capacity increasing from 140 to 210 pupils.

“The proposed scheme seeks to provide the additional accommodation required to deliver the curriculum for a 210-pupil place primary school.

“The scheme will provide a secure entrance for visitors to the main school with direct from the frontage and allows visitors to be segregated from the main school areas.

“The development will house administration offices, interview spaces and meeting rooms together with additional teaching accommodation."

The scheme was given the green-light despite objections from Barrow Parish Council.

In a statement to the planners, it said: “Although not listed, the chapel has both historic and communal merit and is a very important part of Barrow’s history.

“As one of the few older buildings left in Barrow, it should be preserved and every effort should be made to incorporate it into plans to extend the school.”

Cllr David Birtwhistle, who represents the area on Ribble Valley Council said: “I am really disappointed that Lancashire County Council do not recognise the significance of the building as far as the history of the village is concerned.

“It would appear that anything of character is being knocked down and replaced with boring nondescript structures that certainly won’t be standing in 150 years.

“What is more disappointing is that LCC lack the imagination to simply modernise the building, using state of the art materials to create something spectacular.

“I’m certain if it was handed over to the likes of TV’s George Clarke, it could be turned into an attractive more functional space at the fraction of the cost.”