Birmingham’s severe school places crisis has forced the city council into the compulsory purchase of a city snooker club.
The local authority has revealed plans to buy up the Silver Cue snooker club, in Washwood Heath, in its bid to extend the number of places at St Saviours Church of England School, which is next door.
It is believed the snooker club has been closed.
A full business case for the extension of St Saviours was heard at a meeting of the council’s Cabinet Property Committee this week.
The report says the site is needed to help the council meet its statutory duty to secure school places.
The report said mobile classrooms are only a short term solution.
It added: “Given the importance of meeting the educational needs of the population of the city, the use of compulsory purchase powers is considered to be justified in this case.
"The growth in pupil numbers is such that despite expanding existing schools in the area, there remains a shortfall of places which can only be provided through the acquisition of additional sites.
“A full report will be submitted in the late summer or early autumn once preliminary work is completed.
“St Saviour’s School is in an area with one of the highest school place demands. Parents, the headteacher and school governors are all supportive of the expansion of the school.
“Other schools in the area are all oversubscribed in reception classes. One school is already being expanded and the remaining schools are on somewhat restricted sites or do not belong to the council.
“Discussions have been taking place with the land owners about potential acquisition.
‘‘Officers are of the view that if it is not possible to acquire voluntarily that part of the site which is needed for the school expansion.”
The council has already used emergency government cash in some over stretched areas of the city to lay on extra rooms to meet the demand for primary school places.
But it needs to find another 1,000 reception-age places in the centre of the city in the next five years.
The highest demand is in Washwood Heath, Sparkhill, Sparkbrook and Small Heath.
Ward End Junior and Infant School, school is doubling in size to cope with the added demand, while nine schools are using the 13 temporary classrooms while extensions are being built.
And Starbank Primary, in Small Heath, welcomed 180 new pupils – double the school’s normal intake of 90 – at four temporary classrooms in September. In the last available figures 2,000 more babies were born in 2007 than five years earlier.
That is expected to increase over the next two to three years, with births due to rise by an unprecedented 5,000, partly due to more young women of child-bearing age making their home in the city.