A decision is due on the expansion of a special school in need of extra places for pupils in Farnworth.

The council applied for planning permission for the expansion of Green Fold Special School this year.

The work, worth £8.6 million up from an early estimate of £6.8 million, includes a single-storey extension at both the Lower Orchards site and the Upper Orchards site, both on Highfield Road, which it shares with its sister schools Cherry Tree Primary School and The Orchards Nursery School.

It includes a Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) next to Windermere Road to address a loss of open space.

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If approved the nursery school is to relocate from the Lower Orchards site to the Upper Orchards site.

All the above is up for consideration by the planning committee when it meets at the town hall this week.

Previously a report by Bolton Council said: "The enlargement of Green Fold Special School is a part of a Bolton Council strategy to increase special school capacity within the borough and to respond to identified demand from families for school places for their children.

"The programme is welcomed by the Department for Education who are supporting its delivery with additional SEND Safety Valve funding."

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There are two separate applications for planning permission for Lower Orchards and Upper Orchards.

The planning committee is recommended to approve the applications according to two separate reports.

One of the reports said: "The proposals are commensurate with the existing use and the extension serves to support the expansion of an existing school, providing places for the district. Subject to conditions, there are no harms to outweigh the benefits of the proposals.

"It is considered that the application accords with Bolton's Development Plan, and it is recommended that the application be approved."

The planning committee meets at the town hall this week.

This article was written by Jack Tooth. To contact him, email jack.tooth@newsquest.co.uk or follow @JTRTooth on Twitter.