Chorley primary school's eight foot fence plans set for the green light despite neighbours' concerns

A primary school in Chorley asked to rethink plans for a near eight food high fence around its perimeter is set to have the plans approved – despite making no alterations.

St Josephs Catholic Primary School
St Josephs Catholic Primary School

St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School in Anderton wants to erect a 2.4 metre barrier along the edge of its Rothwell Road site and playing fields.

Earlier this month members of Chorley Council’s development control committee deferred a decision on the proposal after neighbouring households claimed they would feel like they were “living in a cage”.

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School's protective fence plan prompts neighbour complaints
St Josephs Catholic Primary School

In updated committee notes, officers write: “It should be noted that no amendments have been made to the proposal, and that the fencing is proposed in the same location and at the same height as presented to Members previously.

“The [planning] agent has confirmed that the height of the fence at 2.4 metres is to accord with the Health and Safety policy of the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

"The agent also emphasizes that a fence could be erected in this location up to a height of two metres without the need for planning permission.”

Anderton Parish Council has objected to the fencing on the grounds that it could increase the vulnerability of the school and local residents "as it will create a corridor between the old and new fencing", per planning officers' notes.

It continues: "The Parish Council is also concerned that the corridor will create a litter trap without a regular maintenance regime and that it will impact on wildlife in the area.

"The height of the fencing would not be in keeping with the area and would not be a nice experience for the children."

In the committee meeting earlier this month Anderton Parish Coun Ian Horsfield said the narrow track around the boundary would introduce “a potential source of vulnerability both to the school and households”.

Deputy Leader of the Council, Coun Peter Wilson, said that the need to safeguard the school was “an absolute given”, but added that he supported locals who were concerned that the fencing would worsen overgrowth.

Speaking after the meeting, the school’s headteacher, Fiona Brownsey, defended the proposal and said that there had been several incidents of youths gaining access to the school grounds after it was closed.

“We have a safeguarding policy which we have to adhere to in order to make the school as safe as possible. But we live as part of a community and want to maintain good relationships with our neighbours, ” Mrs Brownsey said.