Hartlepool primary school gets go ahead for 'exciting development'

A Hartlepool primary school's plans for a new outdoor learning and play space have been approved by councillors.

Thursday, 1st September 2016, 5:00 am
Fens Primary School. Picture by FRANK REID

Fens County Primary School has own planning permission to create the outside teaching and play area for reception children featuring paved and decked areas, a yurt hut style shelter and ramp.

A new porch which will act as a gateway between the new area and the school building will also be built.

The school says it has a lack of secure outdoor learning and play space.

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Headteacher Peter Cornforth said: “This will be an extremely exciting development to our primary school.”

The development was granted permission by Hartlepool Borough Council with unanimous approval from councillors on the Planning Committee.

Another element of the application included changing part of the school playground to create additional staff car parking accessed from Catcote Road.

Four letters of objection were lodged raising safety concerns for pedestrians and other road users due to the business of Catcote Road, and difficulty for residents being able to access their own drives.

Some also opposed the outdoor learning area fearing it would be a magnet to vandals.

Mr Cornforth said the school has not had any incidents of vandalism since erecting a fence and added the parking plans should ease the situation.

A council report stated: “The formation of a car park on part of an existing play ground will reduce the amount of playground available however it is considered that the outdoor play space that remains is of a size that would allow for the continued enjoyment of play space for pupils and the facilities proposed elsewhere will overall enhance the creative play experience for children.

“It is considered that the proposal will contribute positively to the range of teaching facilities at Fens Primary School to the benefit of staff and pupils.”