Friday, 24 November 2017

Campaign launched against school location

RESIDENTS have launched a campaign to save a piece of farmland identified as a possible site for a new free school

RESIDENTS have launched a campaign to save a piece of farmland identified as a possible site for a new free school.

Land at Dyson?s Wood Farm in Tokers Green Lane, near Kidmore End, is the latest location to be considered as a permanent site for the Heights Primary School in Caversham.

Five possible sites will be included in a public consultation exercise to be carried out by Reading Borough Council on behalf of the Education Funding Agency, which could begin as early as next week.

The farm, which is run by Neil Ronaldson, is located near Dyson?s Wood and The Maples centre for autistic adults but the land identified as a possible site for the school is near the junction of Tokers Green Lane, Kidmore Road and Shepherds Lane.

Residents have formed a group called Save Farthingworth Green after discovering the name of the land on an old Ordnance Survey map.

Malcolm Pemble, who lives in Shepherds Lane, said the group formed after learning about the late addition of the site.

He said: ?All the other groups have had months to prepare their cases as to why the school shouldn?t be in their area.

?We can?t get banners printed and take legal advice and do the things that all the other groups have had time to do so, if you?ll pardon the expression, it?s hardly a level playing field.

?We want to let people know about this because I?m sure there are some people in the area who still don?t know about it.

?Our concern is that because nobody walks on it they will think it?s all right but it would be the destruction of the countryside and open land.

?There has always been a tradition of keeping a rural barrier between Reading and South Oxfordshire and we are keen to preserve that.?

?This is such an idyllic corner of Oxfordshire. It doesn?t deserve to be the only site with no one to stand up for it.?

The council has added Save Farthingworth Green to a list of stakeholders who will have a chance to argue their case during the public consultation.

But Mr Pemble fears the agency may not allow the group?s submission to be included in any printed material because the deadline is now too near.

He said: ?We will just have to do what we can. This is such an idyllic corner of Oxfordshire, it doesn?t deserve to be the only site with no one to stand up for it.?

The land was first put forward as a possible site 18 months ago.

To contact the group, send an email to savefarthingworthgreen@hotmail.co.uk


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