Lichfield school governors to oppose plan for new sports facility on playing field

Governors of a Lichfield school say they will “strongly oppose” plans to build a new sports facility on their playing field.

A letter to parents at St Joseph’s RC Primary School says there has been approach to develop a new ‘caged floodlit’ multi-use sports area alongside Staffordshire County Council’s £2.5million project to transform a former adult training centre on Cherry Orchard into a new academy.

The new school proposal has already come in for criticism from local residents facing the prospect of traffic from three schools within a few hundred metres of each other.

But further concerns over the plan have now been raised by the governors of St Joseph’s RC Primary School, who say the associated sports development will have an impact on the amount of time heir pupils can spend outdoors.

In a letter to parents at the end of the school term, chair of governors Tina Rowe said they had been approached about the building of the new facility on a field they currently share with neighbouring St Michael’s Primary School – but said they planned to fight the development.

She added: “The governing body will strongly oppose the proposal since it will not be beneficial to our children.

“The new caged area will have to be shared between three schools, limiting the use for our pupils to one day per week, as well as considerably reducing the space in the playing field.

“This is just not enough outside time for our children.”

County councillor Ben Adams said new school places were needed in the area.

“Lichfield is growing,” he explained. “The District Council’s Local Plan anticipates more than 4,700 new homes in the city and Fradley in the next 15 years and that means we need more schools, including the one proposed at Cherry Orchard, to ensure children will continue to be educated in good schools close to home.”

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