Initial proposals of how a Horwich primary school could look if it was to be rebuilt have been revealed.
Construction firm Willmott Dixon has carried out a feasibility study on behalf of Bolton Council to explore the possibility of rebuilding and extending Chorley New Road Primary School.
The school is currently a one-form entry school but the council is hoping to make it two-form entry in order to create extra places for the Horwich Loco Works (Rivington Chase) development.
The development is expected to create up to 1,700 houses over a period of 10 to 15 years and was approved by the council’s planning committee last year, with a condition that adequate education provision, funded by the developer, was made in the vicinity.
Education bosses have looked at a variety of options to meet the potential additional demand for up to 400 primary school pupils, including expanding some other primary schools in the area in addition to expanding Chorley New Road Primary School.
The feasibility study suggests creating the new purpose-built primary school on the current school’s playing fields and demolishing the existing building, with a view to creating play and recreation facilities in its place.
Improved access to the site would be built into the scheme, including parents’ access from Chorley New Road and pedestrian access from the Loco Works housing development. There is also provision for bus access within the housing development.
It is anticipated the construction and demolition process would take around 10 months to complete at a cost of around £5 million.
Bolton Council has now agreed to set up a project group with the school and to further develop the proposals with Willmott Dixon.
Drawing up formal plans will form part of the work of the project group, to be brought back to the council for consideration at a later date.
The council will also continue discussions with neighbouring schools about potential expansion to create extra places.
Cabinet Member for Education, Schools, Safeguarding and Looked After Children, Cllr Ann Cunliffe, said: “I am delighted to see these plans moving forward in a positive direction and so far have been impressed with Willmott Dixon’s proposals.
“This is an exciting prospect for Chorley New Road Primary School and the wider Horwich community, and I shall look forward to seeing a lovely, new, modern facility being built. The Loco Works development meant that we had to look at a variety of options for additional school places in Horwich and I am satisfied that this is the best solution all round.”