Theale Primary School: Plans dropped after council spat

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Englfield fieldsImage source, Google
Image caption,
The plan for the primary at North Street playing fields was approved last summer after four years of discussion

Plans for an £8m school have been scrapped after a parish council failed to sign an agreement to release land.

Proposals for a primary school on playing fields in Theale, Berkshire, have been marred by a spat between the local parish and district councils.

West Berkshire Council claims Theale Parish Council delayed the work, despite villagers backing the school.

The parish council has concerns over the loss of recreational land.

West Berkshire Council says it is now exploring how existing schools can create new places for local children.

Spokeswoman Lynne Doherty said: "We have really tried to progress this with a parish council which through indecision, obfuscation and delay has for two years put off making any decision on the lease.

She added: "Words cannot express my frustration and disappointment".

Image source, West Berkshire Council
Image caption,
Theale Parish Council had concerns over the proposed location of the new school and loss of football pitches

The plan for the school at the North Street playing fields was approved by both councils last summer after being discussed for four years.

Demand created by new housing was viewed as a reason to build the primary.

Deadline

In March, residents voted in favour of releasing land to begin work.

But West Berkshire Council claims that after the parish council had not signed the legal documents which would have allowed the new school to go ahead - it gave the authority a deadline until the end of July.

No documents had been signed when that deadline passed this week.

Theale council has been approached for comment.