THE principal of a new all boys’ school — set to open next month — has said plans are in place to limit any disruption to the local community amid concern from some residents.
In September, 150 boys will start at the new Eden Boys’ Free School in its temporary home in the former Falcon View Social Education Centre in Cotton Street, Halliwell.
Some neighbours say they have not been properly notified about the school opening and are concerned about traffic issues.
Principal Shabir Fazal said the school is working closely with the local community and has strategies in place to avoid disruption.
Planning permission is being sought for a permanent school site in Wolfenden Street, which will eventually hold 700 pupils.
If the plans are approved, the £10 million project will see a state-of-the-art campus built on the site of the former Wolfenden School, which closed in 2003.
The faith school is being set up by the Tauheedul Free Schools Trust, which was formed following the success of the Tauheedul Islam Girls’ High School in Blackburn.
Although it is designated as a Muslim faith school, applications will be welcome from families of all faiths.
Nigel Hodgson, whose mother’s house backs onto the Falcon View site said he did not think people living in the area had been informed about the opening.
He added: “We are well aware of the Wolfenden Street plans, that’s not a problem, but I don’t think many people in Cotton Street are aware that 150 boys are starting school at the Falcon View building next month.
“I am worried there will be a big difference and the number of cars in the area will be massively increased, it is a tiny little street.
“The extra traffic on a small side street that will be generated by this site use will be chaotic.”
Mr Fazal said while houses had not been leafleted, he has been meeting with community groups and speaking to local residents.
He added: “Once we have been open for a week or so, we will invite local people in to the school to create a dialogue with the community, we want to be part of the local family.
“We have several strategies in place to deal with traffic issues, there will be a daily bus service carrying 50 kids to Derby Street and we have written to parents of children who live near to the school asking if their kids can walk.”
Other strategies will see the school open an early breakfast club, inviting pupils to enter at 7.30am and principal Fazal and his deputies will perform traffic duty twice a day.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: “Eden Boys’ School will be opening in temporary accommodation this September while its permanent accommodation is built.
“There is a high demand in the area and it will offer much needed new school places from a provider that already runs two outstanding secondary schools.”