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Parents hold protest over loss of Leeds primary school playing fields

Moortown Primary school parents are trying to save their childrens Sports Day in a long-running decision about planning on a green space behind the school on Shadwell Lane.

Moortown Primary school parents are trying to save their childrens Sports Day in a long-running decision about planning on a green space behind the school on Shadwell Lane.

  • by Alison Bellamy
 

FURIOUS PARENTS held a protest at the school gates, against losing their school playing fields to a new housing estate.

Moortown Primary School has been using land behind the school for 50 years, in an historical agreement with Leeds City Council and former owners Yorkshire Bank.

But the land has been sold, and revised plans have been put into Leeds City Council by the housing developers Scotfield Ltd. Campaigners say the move contradicts earlier assurances that the school would be allocated space for pupils to continue to use.

The new plans will see 29 new dwellings being built and two thirds of the 12 acre site being gifted to Leeds City Council for a new public open greenspace. However no secure fenced off area will be allocated to the school.

Protesters rallied after school yesterday.

They say the school’s annual sports day and other after-school activities are in jeopardy.

Pam Jones, of Moortown Primary School Parent group, said: “For more than 50 years the field has been used for sports days, science projects, nature trails, etc, to support the national curriculum.

“The school has a key to access the field.

“The school’s next sports day is planned for July 16, but quite literally, the developer’s diggers may have moved in by then. It is unclear what the school will do if that happens.

“We feel developers are going back on their word to give us some dedicated green space.

“Plans have changed and now do not show any sport facilities. We appreciate a small amount of housing will be built to make the new park happen, but feel cheated that inferred promises that Moortown Primary would have a small part of the massive site are now not being upheld.

“We are a small school and having dedicated green space would make a huge difference.”

A group of parents has set up a petition at change.org, with around 500 signatures already collected. Campaigners say the next few days are crucial for one of the oldest schools in Leeds.

Janice Rush, chair of governors at Moortown Primary, said: “The school had requested some dedicated secure space to be used during the school day for sport and other learning.

“The outcome from the most recent meetings was that the school’s request ‘does not appear feasible and/or desirable.’

“We are very disappointed but would like to reassure the developers that we do still support the development of a small number of houses and the provision of a park for Moortown, which will undoubtedly benefit the community as a whole.”

Planning objections must be received by Leeds City Council by Friday. More details on Moortown Primary School’s website.

Leeds City Council last night declined to comment when contacted by the YEP.

 

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