‘Nightmare’ fears over new Barnoldswick primary school plan

First published in News

Traffic on Kelbrook Road in Barnoldswick could become an “appalling area of chaos” if plans for a new school go ahead, says a local councillor.

Coun Ken Hartley (Lib Dem) shared his concerns about a plan to build a new Barnoldswick C of E Primary School next to West Craven High Technology College with West Craven Area Committee, Coun Hartley said access to the primary school would be via the car park adjacent to the swimming pool “Vehicular access to the site will create an appalling area of chaos,” he said. “Traffic now backs up on to Kelbrook Road for people waiting to get into the high school. It’s already a bottleneck, but if plans for this new school are approved it will be a nightmare.”

Coun Hartley said the entire plan was a “complete shambles”.

“I’m also totally appalled that we’re going to see a loss of playing fields,” he added. “This loss of open space suggests that it is just a two-dimensional space on a map, not a living, breathing community.”

Coun Hartley added that the “buff, brick design” of the proposed primary school building would stand out like a sore thumb.

Coun Lindsay Gaskell (Lib Dem), who also chairs Barnoldswick Town Council, said there were a number of issues that needed “sorting out”.

“It’s wonderful that our church school is going to get a new school,” she said. “But just because they put something in the plan doesn’t mean it’s right for our area. We have to make sure our children get the best that we can give them.”

One councillor, however, expressed his support for the plan submitted by Lancashire County Council.

“I think it’s a great plan,” said Earby councillor Morris Horsfield (Con). “It’s a terrific scheme and when it’s complete will be a £15 million investment, which has never happened to West Craven before. We want to be careful what we’re shouting about because we don’t want to lose this.”

Another Earby councillor, Coun Chris Tennant (Con), said: “We can all be united in the fact that there is a need for a new school.”

But he said said he was “totally baffled” that Barnoldswick land, which had been identified as a possible site for a new church school 30 years ago, was not considered when developing the new plan.

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