Friday, 21 January 2022

Prep work at school site as challenge fails

Prep work at school site as challenge fails

WORK has taken place on land where a new primary school in Caversham Heights is to be built.

The archaeological and ground investigation work was carried out at Mapledurham playing fields, off Upper Woodcote Road, on the footprint of the proposed school building

The area was fenced off, along with the adjacent sports pavilion.

The Heights Primary School was granted planning permission by Reading Borough Council in August to move from its temporary site in Gosbrook Road, Lower Caversham, to the new site on part of the fields.

A council spokeswoman said that Kier, a contractor for the Education and Skills Funding Agency, had reinstated and turfed the land and removed the fencing.

She said: “After the heavy rainfall the ground was somewhat churned up. We anticipate that the mild, drier weather forecast over the next two weeks will help and we will re-inspect the site in the new year and determine any future works required. The works to the pavilion are temporary repairs being arranged by Warren and District Residents’ Association.”

Meanwhile, a legal challenge over the council’s decision to grant planning consent has failed.

The Mapledurham Playing Fields Action Group, which opposed the school’s move, sought a judicial review of the decision at the High Court. It argued that the school should not be allowed to use the land as it was bequeathed to Reading by Charles Hewett in 1938 and set in trust for recreational use.

Mrs Justice Lang rejected the claims and said plans for the school should go ahead.

She said: “There was no statutory or policy requirement, either expressed or implied, to consider alternative sites in this case.”

A council spokesman said: “We are pleased that the judge dismissed the application on all grounds.”

The school declined to comment.

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