New proposals for the future of a school playing field in Oundle have been announced by Northamptonshire County Council today.
As part of the transition from three to two-tier education in east Northamptonshire, Oundle Primary School will move from its current location in Milton Road to the Oundle and King’s Cliffe Middle School site off Cotterstock Road.
The county council has been considering options for the middle school playing fields, which are much larger than the open space required for a primary school of this size.
Following a series of meetings with Oundle Town Council and parents, the county council has decided to transfer the majority of the playing field to the school, providing sufficient space for a cricket pitch, a football pitch and a running track. This land will be transferred to the school with a formal agreement that will ensure the land remains available for community use and the school will be responsible for maintaining the green space.
The county council will retain ownership of a small section of the field neighbouring Cotterstock Road and the aim is to consider alternative uses for this section. In the meantime, this will continue to be available for use by the school and the local community.
Cllr Heather Smith, county council deputy leader and ward councillor for Oundle, said: “We have listened carefully to the views expressed around our proposals concerning Oundle Primary School and we have taken those views into account as we confirmed our plans for the site.
“Our new proposals for this site see the majority of it being transferred to the school to be used by pupils and the wider community. We heard loud and clear that this was what the people of Oundle wanted and are happy to listen and respond to this.
“However we are retaining a small part of the field neighbouring Cotterstock Road. This part of the land is not required by a primary school with this number of pupils. Even without this area of the field, Oundle Primary School will have the largest playing field of any primary school of its size in the county and more green space than the school has in its current location.
“We are reserving the right to develop this section of land in the future because it is vital that we balance local wishes with the needs of the whole of Northamptonshire and manage our assets in the most efficient way.
“When we come to consider alternative uses for this section of land in the future, any proposal would be subject to the usual planning, consultation and other statutory processes.”