DESPITE a series of setbacks, the principal of Beamont Collegiate Academy is hopeful that any delays to the building of its new school premises will not rumble on for too much longer.
Plans to build a new two storey building on the land where the school currently stands were stopped in their tracks at a development management committee earlier this month.
At the planning meeting, the blueprints were refused due the ‘unacceptable impact’ on living conditions of nearby residents, describing the effect as ‘overbearing and oppressive’.
Principal Andy Moorcroft said he was ‘shocked and disappointed’ by the decision.
He said: “This is a £10.7 million scheme for a much needed school building which will benefit the young people of Warrington for years to come, all members of the committee recognised this need but the plans were still refused.
“Even though the new building will be no closer to residential properties than our current school building and will take up far less space than the current building.”
No decision has yet been made about whether the school will appeal the decision or will look to find a different location on the school site.
Mr Moorcroft added: “Moving the building is difficult and expensive and these are barriers we will have to overcome but we hope we will find a positive way forward within the next month or so meaning the start date will not be delayed by more than a few months.”
Building work was originally scheduled to start this month in anticipation of the school opening its new home in September 2015.
This is not the first setback the school has been faced with after it was chosen as part of the Labour’s Building Schools for the Future programme a few years ago to receive Government funding for a new school building but this was later halted.
Speaking about the refused plans, Mr Moorcroft said it was ‘a well-considered design which has taken many factors into account’.
This included planting mature trees and moving a bin storage area to protect local residents.
This made the rejection even more surprising, added Mr Moorcroft.
“However the education Funding Agency are committed to providing us with a new building and we have received lots of support from senior colleagues at Warrington Borough Council who are all committed to a new school building for Beamont,” he said.