Decision delayed on hospital school plans

Issue 584

COUNCILLORS want answers before they will consider letting Batley’s former hospital be turned into a Muslim girls’ school.

Kirklees Council’s Heavy Woollen Planning sub-committee deferred a decision on the proposals at a Dewsbury Town Hall meeting last week.

They want the applicant,  the Muslim Education Trust, to clarify the number of pupils who would attend and explain their travel plan in more detail.

Councillors also asked the trust to consider moving from their current site in Warwick Road to the old hospital in Transvaal Terrace in stages.

The group want to switch as they claim their school is full and have a waiting list of about 180 children.

The school currently has about 70 pupils. They have agreed to limit pupil numbers to 250, enough to deal with those on the waiting list.

They have applied for change of use permission to turn the empty former hospital, last used as a nursing home, into a non-residential school.

Campaigners who spoke against the plan told the hearing of traffic problems caused by an expanded Batley Grammar School.

Coun Andrew Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) shared their concern and said: “I’m worried about the bend. It seems to me it would just cause trouble.

“But if you could make each parent go into the car park and unload their children, then that could be an option.”

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