A DISAPPOINTED headteacher has insisted proposals for a new arts block which were refused by council planners, would be of benefit to the whole community.
Rudheath High School say they are considering their position after the plans for the extension were knocked back at a meeting of the Vale Royal planning Committee last month. Work on the extension had been set to start in May and would have been the focal point of the school's successful bid for performing arts status.
The proposals were refused after councillors heard from local residents who said it would adversely impact on adjourning streets.
The building, which would have been available for public use, would have included a dance studio, music rooms, five or six practice rooms and possibly a state-of-the-art recording studio.
Acting headteacher Tony Clifford said that they wanted to make clear the facilities that would be available. He said: 'I think we need to make it clear that what we are doing is part of the school's core facilities but these facilities will also be available to the public.
'In terms of our neighbours, there are young people at the moment in this area who have not got much to do who could make use of these facilities. We have also taken on additional staff and part of their role is to work within the community.
'We have got plans or have done events such as discussion work shops, line dancing and an all age performing arts production from aged five-90. These events could not be done on the scale we want to without the right facilities. The benefits of this have not been fully understood.'
Residents on Ship Brook Road and Central Road have expressed concerns about noise and disturbance, the impact on privacy and the potential of an overspill onto side streets during peak time for car parking.
The proposals for the two-storey extension were put forward by the school after they became a specialist college for the arts. The school received £500,000 in extra funding over four years as a result, which would have helped fund the new arts block.