AN application to extend a special school in Horwich will be debated at the next meeting of Bolton Council’s planning committee.

Councillors will come together to decide whether Lever Park School at Stocks Park Drive should be allowed to extend at the front and back, as well as erect a new teaching building and a 21-space car park.

Planning officers have recommended that the plans — submitted by the council on behalf of the school — should be approved.

But residents living nearby have launched a petition against the scheme, saying that the new building would be too close to their homes.

Norman Merrick, of Stocks Park Drive, is coordinating the residents’ opposition efforts and said they hope to have a representative at the meeting.

He said: “Where the building is going to be situated is right in front of our houses but at the back of the school there’s plenty of land.

“The pupils are often quite unruly and I think it will infringe more on our privacy because they’ll only be a few yards away.

“When I look out of my window there are 25 cars in the car park and then you get the taxis coming.

“If you get more pupils you’re going to get more pupils and more staff which is increasing the traffic for us.” Lever Park is the only special school in Bolton that accepts pupils with educational needs relating to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties.

A report by a Bolton Council planning officer said they hoped the new car park would reduce the number of cars parking on Stocks Park Drive.

It adds: “The application site is an existing school site and there will unavoidably be noise generated from the site during school hours as it stands now.

“Given this, it is not considered that the erection of a further two classrooms within the school grounds would unduly harm the amenity of neighbours by significantly increasing noise beyond existing levels.”

The planning committee meeting takes place on Thursday, January 9.