Court Quashes Free School Planning Decision

Campaigners Objecting To Location Of New School Win Court Battle


Dave Grimshaw, Press Officer | 0114 274 4397

Campaigners fighting to get a new free school re-located to provide more outside space for pupils have won their latest battle, after the High Court quashed the council’s planning permission.

The Tauheedul trust are seeking to open a purpose-built new boys’ school in Blackburn in September, and originally had planning permission to demolish a former YMCA building in Clarence Street to make room for the 700-pupil Islamic academy.

However, local resident Ibrahim Shafi instructed specialist public lawyers at Irwin Mitchell as he, along with other local residents, believes the school is being located in the wrong place and that advice to councillors about parking and traffic congestion was incorrect.

After issues with the original proposals, a revised planning application had been submitted including more car parking spaces but this took up some of the pupil’s recreation space which officers said was acceptable. However, after the council agreed that there were mistakes in its planning permission decision, His Honour Judge Pelling QC approved a quashing order.

Justin Neal, an expert solicitor at Irwin Mitchell representing Shafi, said:

The Council and the group behind the plans said they expected to submit another application dealing with the issues but that the opening date may be delayed.

Mr Shafi said: "How on earth can children get the exercise they need? The idea of putting 700 children in such a small space was never realistic.

"I support Tauheedul's plans to open a new school. It is simply the wrong place."

Read more about Irwin Mitchell's expertise in Administrative and Public Law.