THE academy trust behind Blackburn’s Tauheedul schools is seeking planning permission to continue to use a former college in Shadsworth as its head office.

Star Academies has used the premises of the former Blakewater College since 2017.

The buildings in Shadsworth Road were also the home of its Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School until September 2019 when that moved to a new campus in Sumner Street.

Now the academy chain is seeking to extend a two-year temporary planning permission for their use as offices by another five years.

Supporting documents with the application to Blackburn with Darwen Council planners says: “The proposed development comprises the change of use of a building only. It does not propose any extensions or alterations to the building nor does it propose any new access or egress procedures.”

They reveal that the academy chain, which now runs 34 schools across England, has negotiated a new five year lease for the buildings with Blackburn with Darwen Council.

The documents tell planning officials: “As a local employer of approximately 120 staff keeping Star Academies central office in continuing operation is important both to the local economy and to the continuing operation of a large number of primary and secondary schools across Blackburn and the North-West.

“As the central office has operated from the same location for more than four years already, the ability to temporarily continue to operate in the same location is important.

“It is also a sensible interim use of the former Blakewater College which would otherwise be vacant.

“Therefore in conclusion it is considered that when assessing the circumstances/temporary nature of the proposed change of use, there are no planning reason for the application to be refused.”

The premises have a 70 space car park.

Star Academies runs the Tauheedul Islam Boys’ High School, the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School and Sixth Form College and the primary Olive School in Blackburn.

It started with the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School in Preston New Road in 1984.