BURNLEY Council is to demand a public inquiry over plans to build a new super school in Towneley Park.

Last night the authority's development control committee decided to ask Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott to call in plans to replace Towneley High School with Unity College as part of £250 million changes to secondary education in Burnley and Nelson.

Under the Building Schools for the Future programme, Lancashire County Council wants to build the 1,050-place college on Lower Towneley Playing fields and turn the existing school site into parkland.

However, councillors and residents have objected to the plans over flooding and traffic concerns, as well as the loss of existing parkland.

Ian Galbraith, secretary of campaign group Towneley for the People welcomed the decision but called on residents to continue pressing for the inquiry.

At the meeting he said the county council had ruled out rebuilding at the present location because playing fields would be across the road a split-site was not suitable for the 21st century.

Mr Galbraith said the authority had contradicted itself because it had proposed a two site school in Nelson under the scheme.

He added the loss of land in Towneley Park would also be a major blow for Burnley's tourism.

Mr Galbraith said: "A lot of people from out of town come to Towneley. They go away and tell people about it.

"They act as ambassadors for our town."

Coun Charles Bullas added: "I think it's absolute nonsense to build on this land. We should write to the secretary of state and ask him to call this in."

Also at the meeting plans for Hameldon College, replacing Ivy Bank and Habergham schools and to be built on farmland off Rossendale Road, were also opposed by residents and councillors because of traffic concerns.

They also claim the scheme contravenes planning rules.

Resident Robin Sturch said: "We all welcome the investment in schools, we just oppose the site."

A final decision to grant planning permission for the schools will be made by the county later this month.