Cornwall

Newquay Tretherras playing field Tesco sale plan causes anger

  • 6 September 2012
  • From the section Cornwall
Newquay Tretherras Academy
Image caption The sale has been approved in principle by Education Secretary Michael Gove

A Cornwall school's plans to sell off part of its playing fields to Tesco have angered local people.

Newquay Tretherras Academy is talking to the supermarket giant about selling the land at the rear of the school.

The school has said it needs the money to replace buildings which date back to the 1950s.

Objectors said the sale would adversely affect the school's sporting facilities, increase traffic and hit businesses in the area.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has approved the sale in principle - one of 31 school playing field sales in England approved by the coalition government.

But campaigners, who are holding a series of demonstrations, said it was not the way to raise the funds for the school.

Dr Valerie Martin, chair of protest group Newquay Residents Against Inappropriate Development, said: "Playing fields are important for the broader development of the pupils.

"They are the prime playing fields - they don't get waterlogged in the winter and can be used in the whole season."

'Proud sporting heritage'

Former groundsman Kenneth Bawden said the area, which was used to welcome the Olympic torch, had been well used for sport.

Image caption Objectors make their case but Tesco said it would consult fully on any proposals

The school said it had a proud sporting heritage and any sale would not affect the way sport was taught.

It said it had 12 acres of playing fields in front of the school, although pupils did have to cross a road to get to them.

Richard Simeons, chair of governors, said: "We consider we have surplus grassed area at the rear of the school.

"We have playing fields here which are extensive. Nothing we do as governors will be to detriment of the sports provision of this school."

Tesco said in a statement: "No contract has been signed with the school.

"Should an agreement be reached, we will consult fully with the local community on the proposals before any planning application is submitted."

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