CHANGES to roads around a Bournemouth school could make the carriageways "dangerous", it has been claimed.

Bob Anderton, former chair of the Queens Park and Charminster Forum, appeared at Poole Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning to speak against an application for stopping up a highway near Malmesbury Park Primary School.

The application, sought by the council, will amend the layout of parts of Lowther Road and Ascham Road so the school can build a bigger playground for pupils.

Alexis Edwards, the council's spatial strategy engineer, said he had visited the area on a number of occasions to observe how busy the pavements were.

In Lowther Road, the pavement will be the same width - 2.5 metres - all the way along. The width will be 5.9 metres in the relevant stretch of Ascham Road.

However, Mr Anderton said the changes will effectively create a "blind corner" along the stretch and warned of "mayhem" at peak times.

"This is a major danger area," he said.

"Stopping up [the carriageway] will increase the danger to the public and especially for children, which is my main concern."

Mr Edwards said an earlier application was rejected on the grounds that there would be "insufficient" room for safe passage in Ascham Road.

He was happy with the most recent application, he said.

Helen Brown, the school's business manager, said there are more than 700 pupils.

"[It's] quite a built-up area," she said.

"We are very limited on space."

Asked if she was aware of parents congregating around the school in the areas of Lowther Road and Ascham Road under review, she said: "It's very rare.

"The odd one or two stand just chatting."

Magistrates granted the application to stop up the highway, telling Mr Anderton they believed there was "adequate room for the public to use the pavement safely".

However, plans will still have to get the green light from officials and councillors at Bournemouth council before any changes are made.