PLANS to build a multi-million pound primary school in a popular park have moved a step closer after proposals were submitted to Bolton Council .

This is the first glimpse of how Clarendon Primary could look if plans to build the school in Heywood Park, Great Lever, are given the go-ahead.

Pupils are currently being taught in a building dating back to the late 19th century. Emergency work has had to be carried out on the building.

Work to rebuild the school could be under way next year and it could be ready by September 2014.

The school, in Clarendon Street, Great Lever, was earmarked by education bosses as a “priority rebuild” in March 2009, and at the start of last year plans to relocate Clarendon were put forward with a view to opening at Easter 2013.

But the future of the new school hung in the balance while a bid for the park to become a village green was considered.

This was refused in June.

Clarendon was built in 1885 and education chiefs say it is no longer suitable for 21st century teaching.

The new building will have a hall which can be used for community and social activities, with separate community spaces designated to improve health and promote adult learning.

Designers say the location of the school within the park offers a “wonderful opportunity with access to external learning areas, play spaces, views and fresh air”.

Plans for the reinstatement of the lost green space on the site of the old school will be also be submitted. Funding has come from the council’s education capital programme and Balfour Beatty will develop the site.

The new building will house 420 pupils aged from four-to-11-years-old plus nursery accommodation for 39 places.

Currently it can only cater for 208 and has no nursery.

A Bolton Council spokesman said: “The school has been closely involved in the planning of the project over the last two years with teachers, governors and pupils helping to shape the initial design and specifications for the school.

“If the school plans are approved, following a period of consultation, preparatory work could begin in October to clear the ground with construction starting in February, 2013 for a final completion date of Easter, 2014.”