Monday, 19 March 2018

Playing fields sale for school agreed

A NEW primary school is finally set to be built in Caversham.

Reading Borough Council has agreed to sell part of Mapledurham playing fields, off Woodcote Road, as a permanent site for the Heights Free School.

The Education Funding Agency had offered £1.36million for the 2.4 acre plot at the north-western corner of the site, although the school only requires 1.231 acres. It asked for a larger plot in case it had to change the school’s layout.

The agency has promised to preserve access to the playing fields and sports pavilion.

The council, which is a trustee of the charity that looks after the fields, will commission an independent report on the effect of the development and consult the public, the charity’s management committee and the Charity

The fields were the first choice out of five sites put out to public consultation last year.

The agency says it is offering much more than the land’s market value of £30,755 and the extra money could be used to improve the fields. It says the school hall could be used by the community.

But the Mapledurham Playing Fields Action Group, which is made up of residents, clubs and groups who use the fields, says the sale would breach a covenant established when the land was gifted to the community in 1938.

The school has been based at temporary premises off Gosbrook Road since opening in 2014 to ease pressure on school places in Caversham.

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