LAST-MINUTE safeguarding fears which prompted a decision on whether a new school can be built in the centre of Bournemouth to be delayed have been resolved.

Shortly before BCP Council’s planning committee was due to determine the application for Livingstone Academy earlier this month, a police adviser said there was “great concern” about its proximity to the new police station and probation centre

But a joint statement says he is now satisfied at measures to reduce the risk of pupils being hit by emergency vehicles and of interactions with people who have committed offences against children.

The Department for Education (DfE) planning application for the Madeira and Stafford roads site will now come back to councillors on Thursday (September 5) for a final decision, with a recommendation that they grant permission.

Planning officers have not changed their suggestion for the scheme since it was first due to be considered at the beginning of August.

However, a decision was deferred after concerns were raised by Dorset Police crime prevention adviser John Green shortly before the meeting.

“This area is still going to be regularly used by police response vehicles that deploy from the front of the station on emergency calls,” he said. “Senior officers have expressed concerns for the ramifications of a child being struck by a police car.”

He added: “The enhanced risk of having a pool of young people quite so close to people known to offend with children is, I believe, a great concern to the probation service and police."

However, a joint agreement has now been reached between the police, the DfE, the National Probation Service and Aspirations Academies Trust, which is due to run the 1,500-pupil school.

They say they will work “collaboratively” to reduce the risk to students and have agreed to hold regular meetings to discuss issues.

“Following discussions, it has been agreed that the location of the school and the proximity of the probation centre and police station can be managed appropriately,” the statement said.

“It has been agreed that the school design includes a number of mitigation measures to reduce any conflict with the probation service.”

Amongst the steps agreed are that there would be no ground floor teaching rooms fronting Madeira Road or Stafford Road and that there be no way of the public viewing playgrounds.

Councillors are now due to consider the planning application on Thursday with planning officer Simon Gould recommending that permission be granted, despite the scheme having a shortfall in parking spaces.

Should it be approved, the trust said it expects the first of its students – 150 children of Year 7 age – to move into the school in September 2020.

It said this would gradually be increased to the full 1,510-pupil capacity over the following years.