Expanding Preston secondary school to get outdoor dining area as it prepares for new pupils

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A Preston secondary school that is set to increase the number of pupils it admits has been given the go-ahead to expand its facilities - including by creating an outdoor terrace where students can eat.

Archbishop Temple Church of England High School, in Fulwood, had asked Preston City Council for permission to carry out work on its Grade II-listed premises ahead of the arrival of 55 additional pupils a year - two classes worth - from this September.

Town hall officials have now approved the extension of the St. Vincents Road school’s existing dining room - by converting a storage area and toilets - along with the creation of what was described in its planning application as a “small” concrete terrace.

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Other alterations - requiring the removal of internal walls - will also provide temporary classrooms, while pupil toilets will be refurbished, with new cubicles installed.

Fulwood's Archbishop Temple High School is expandingFulwood's Archbishop Temple High School is expanding
Fulwood's Archbishop Temple High School is expanding

It comes after Lancashire County Council’s cabinet agreed back in January to a one-off expansion of Archbishop Temple at the start of the coming autumn term - meaning the normal intake of 155 pupils into year 7 would grow to 210.

However, the authority then carried out a public consultation into a proposal to make the increase a permanent one from September 2025 - a move which was subsequently given the nod in April. It means the overall pupil roll will gradually increase from the current 775 students to 1,050.

The Blackburn Diocesan Board of Education, which runs the voluntary aided school, supported the expansion, while the consultation attracted just 12 responses - eight of which were in favour of the plans.

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Of the nine respondents who commented specifically on the suitability of the school for enlargement, seven noted that it would provide additional places at what they said was a popular and oversubscribed school - but two were concerned about the potential impact on its performance.

While the cost of the alterations required to accommodate the extra pupils was discussed in a private part of County Hall’s cabinet meeting in April - because of commercial confidentiality - it is known that the work will be partially funded with financial contributions from developers that have built new houses in the city. Other funding will come from the county council’s ‘basic need’ grant allocation from the government, which is designed to ensure local authorities can provide enough school places to meet demand.

In granting planning permission for the work, along with consent to make changes to a listed building, Preston City Council planners concluded that the proposal would cause “less than substantial harm” to the significance of the facility - and that the “public benefits” of the expansion would outweigh any harm that did occur.

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