A MULTI-million pound expansion at Westhoughton High School has been approved but councillors warn it will not meet future demands.

A new two-storey classroom block will accommodate an additional 200 pupils over the next four years.

But councillors said new developments in Westhoughton mean more places will need to be created to cope in the future.

The planning committee approved proposals to demolish an existing block and build a bigger one at a meeting last week.

Labour councillor Anna-Marie Watters, who represents Westhoughton South, welcomed the plans but warned that developers have put the town in a "desperate situation".

She said: “This committee is well aware of Westhoughton being of under threat by greedy developers who are determined to rip up our green belt. The extra spaces created by this extension will only meet our current need for desperately needed school places.

"We do need to be very clear, that Westhoughton does not have enough school places to accommodate the children within Westhoughton.”

READ MORE: Multi-million pound expansion plans for Westhoughton High School

Her fellow ward councillor David Wilkinson agreed, saying a new school will need to be built to cope with demand.

The Liberal Democrat councillor who attended Westhoughton High School "many years ago" said the building was not good enough even then.

He said: "It wasn’t good enough then in terms of physical structure. Let’s be quite simple about that. And the population of Westhoughton was a lot, lot smaller then.

"The school, even with this expansion will just about stand still. It will not cope with the future developments. I’ve asked this question of the officers and they’ve admitted there ain’t no more room on it.

"The only thing we’re going to do with Westhoughton High School if we lose any more of the [planning] appeals and any more of the developments go ahead, somebody at some stage is going to have to build a new school."

READ MORE: Consultation under way to increase pupil capacity at school

Westhoughton North and Chew Moor Conservative councillor Zoe Kirk-Robinson moved to approve the application saying, "we badly need the school places". The planning committee voted unanimously to approve the application.

A total of £2.4 million will be spent on expanding the school but because of demand for school places, Westhoughton High School has already begun to admit higher pupil numbers.

Starting from this academic year, each Year 7 intake will have an extra forty children.

This funding was approved by the executive cabinet member for children's services, Cllr Ann Cunliffe, in August.