SCHOOL bosses have won their year-long battle to build arts facilities for the whole community.
Rudheath High School is celebrating after it was granted planning permission to build a state-of-the-art dance and performing arts studio.
Headteacher Mike Hayhurst said he was 'thrilled and delighted' to get the go-ahead from Vale Royal Borough Council's planning committee at the third time of asking.
He said: 'I'm pleased that the planning committee acknowledged all the hard work we have done in trying to reduce the scale and impact of our proposals on our neighbours.
'This scheme will enable us to deliver our commitments in performing arts, to ensure the school is widely accessible to the local community and to help deliver the council's wider aspirations for culture and regeneration in Northwich.'
The £600,000 scheme includes a single-storey extension to the Shipbrook Road school, which will include a dance studio, music rooms, storage area and two classrooms. It will be available for use by the wider community, too.
Local primary schools, including Rud-heath, Victoria Road, Lostock Gralam, Wincham and Witton Church Walk, supported the scheme, as did various colleges, though some neighbours objected. The latest application was a scaled-down version of the previous two which were refused due to the 'overbearing nature' the development would have on neighbouring properties.
The planning committee approved the scheme subject to several conditions regarding landscaping, noise issues, lighting and hours of use.
Vale Royal Borough Council's lead council-lor for leisure, John Grimshaw, said: 'The young people of Rud-heath High School and the whole of the surrounding community will soon be able to look forward to fantastic facilities to enjoy both in their education and leisure time.'
The facility was needed after Rudheath received specialist status as a performing arts college. It will receive £500,000 over four years, but bosses have to spend the money on facilities within a certain time limit. There were concerns it could lose out on the cash had the proposals been rejected again last week.
Rudheath county councillor George Mainwaring said the school and the residents have struck a good deal.
He said: 'It was important that a compromise could be reached between the school and the local residents.' He added: 'The Government has, in this instance, acted as a catalyst for the development, but it's the local community that has to show a desire to do it, and that is exactly what they have done - they raised the £50,000 needed to put forward the application.'