PLANS to install a security fence around a primary school came under fire from neighbours who said they feared it would make the site look like a Borstal.
Governors at St Anne's and St Joseph's RC Primary School on Sandy Lane, Accrington, applied to install a 2.5m-high fence around the majority of the site.
But the plans drew criticism from neighbours who said the fortified look would be inappropriate, making the area look like a prison.
They also said the fencing at the front of the school would be an eyesore and would not be in keeping with the rest of the area.
Some of their concerns were echoed by members of Hyndburn Council's Planning Committee.
Councillor Lynn Wilson said: "Some of the fences you see people putting up like this are downright ugly. I certainly agree that putting up a fence like you'd get at a young offenders' institution sends out all the wrong messages.
"Nowadays, I have heard a lot of people are using what they call living fences, which means they put a trench behind the fence and put plants in it.
"They then climb up the fence and make it look nicer. I think we should be encouraging things like that."
Councillor John Griffiths said: "While it is certainly desirable to increase security, this has to be balanced with the visual amenity of the site."
Councillor Miles Parkinson said: "As a school governor myself I appreciate the importance of safety at schools. But I am puzzled why they have chosen to make the fence black.
"Normally, you associate black fences with conservation areas."
Members heard that since the original application was submitted, the plans had been altered so that railings would be put at the front of the school while fencing would be around the other boundaries.
The committee said it would delegate powers to the chief planning officer to grant permission for the scheme.