A LACK of information about how many students and staff would be needed for a boarding school in Rastrick forced councillors to defer backing the scheme.

Rastrick Independent School wanted planning permission for two dormitories to house students from around the world.

But Calderdale councillors yesterday said the application lacked detail after objections about the scale of the school’s plans were put before the committee.

Clr David Hardy, an Elland ward councillor and planning committee member, said: "Residents have wrote to object and come here to tell us what impact this will have on them, but in my mind how can we decide when we don’t know how many pupils there are going to be?

"They can’t tell us if there will be more permanent staff and when and where they will park on a day to day basis.

"These things matter and we need to have the information before us."

The Ogden Lane school already has planning permission for two new classrooms but they went before the committee at Halifax Town Hall yesterday to seek permission for the two new dormitory blocks for 22 students.

But objections about the scale of the school’s expansion plans and traffic concerns were raised.

John Leach, of Laithe Cross, overlooks the field where the blocks would be built and said: "It would be 9.2m from our house and recommended UDP advice is 12m, you cannot casually dismiss planning policy ... the report says it is not significant enough to recommend refusal but it is significant to us.

"Regulations are there for a purpose and they should not be tossed aside because they’re not convenient."

Clr Ann McAllister, a Rastrick ward councillor, spoke of existing traffic problems at the school, which has no on site parking for staff.

She said: "Neighbours have been inordinately tolerant regarding the noise and the traffic problems, this is the thin end of the wedge for them."

There were also discrepancies in the application and supporting advice about whether any jobs would be created, the school says none but MP Craig Whittaker says it could lead to 40 more positions.

Councillors were concerned that if true, those extra 40 positions may require parking facilities.

Clr Ann Martin, a Brighouse councillor, added: "There are too many discrepancies, a lack of information and we need a lot of clarification about this."

Dozens of children from countries including Colombia, Russia, Italy, Turkey and Spain spend time at the school each year while staying at various sites in the area including local families.

Headteacher Susan Vaughey previously told the Examiner that the two dormitory blocks would allow young visitors to stay longer.