A FAITH school could win approval to stay at a 'dangerous' location for another three years today.

The Olive School opened at Ashton House, off Blackburn Road, in September 2016 — despite councillors complaints that it was ‘wholly unfit to house a primary school’ because of its proximity to the busy main road.

The school, run by the Tauheedul Trust, has now asked Bolton Council for permission to stay at its temporary Waterloo Street base until 2021.

Town hall planning officers are recommending that councillors give the proposals the green light at a meeting this afternoon.

Their report said: "Officers take the view that the responsibility for the safety of children should rest primarily with their parents.

"Officers do not see any reason why the site cannot reasonably be accessed on foot using the necessary nearby pedestrian crossings.

"Whilst officers accept that the area immediately surrounding the site is not particularly pleasant or attractive for pedestrians they do not accept that it is necessarily an unsafe one, provided that appropriate care is taken and proper use is made of the facilities for safely crossing the roads."

It is proposed that pupil numbers would increase by an intake of 60 each year, so for the academic year commencing in September 2020, the school would accommodate up to 360 pupils.

In June council bosses said they wanted to limit the time the school could stay in the building until August 1, 2018 in order to press the trust into moving to a better location.

When the issue last came before the planning committee, Cllr Elaine Sherrington said: “If they cared about the children in their care they would have found somewhere within 12 months which is appropriate for those children.

“They haven’t, but now they want to have a load more children coming in that they can’t look after.”

The Government’s Education and Skills Funding Agency had wanted to secure a site for the free school at the Falcon View centre in Halliwell, but the council withdrew it from sale in June, 2017.

Bolton Council's Asset Management and Pupil Place Planning Unit has raised 'very serious' concerns over the suitability of the site for a school, while admitting that it has operated successfully since it opened and provides much needed primary school places.

However, town hall analysis showed that there are no records of accidents involving pedestrians on the surrounding highway network within the operational hours of the school since it opened.

Last month, Dawn Forshaw, principal of The Olive School, said: “The safety and wellbeing of our pupils is paramount and we are continuing to work with the local authority to ensure any fears that there may be around pupil safety are allayed.

“We have been operating from the temporary site at Ashton House for four terms, without incident, and the children are making excellent progress.

“The trust is continuing to work with the Department for Education to identify a permanent home for the school.”