Anger at school fields plan change

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the loss of playing fields at one of Doncaster’s biggest schools has been criticised by grassroots sports chiefs.

Doncaster councillors have agreed to allow Outwood Academy Adwick to remove a condition on their planning consent so that the new school no longer has to reinstate the playing fields.

Sport England immediately expressed their ‘disappointment’ at the decision, pointing out the new academy on Windmill Balk Lane, Woodlands, has been built on nearly 24,000 square metres of playing field.

The site of the demolished old school will be restored, but Outwood says it was never their intention to use the sloping ground for sport.

The planning committee accepted that the land could be reinstated to the same standard as the rest of the school fields at a later date.

A Sport England spokesperson said: “We are disappointed Doncaster Council has chosen to discharge the condition protecting playing field provision on the site. In order to ensure a replacement playing field was built, Sport England requested a planning condition was placed on the planning application ensuring there would be no overall loss of playing field on the site.

“Playing fields are key resources for the whole community.

“Safeguarding sports provision is vital if we are to build a lasting legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and get more people of all ages playing and enjoying sport.

“We will now seek to speak to Doncaster Council about why the condition has been discharged and consider what options are available to us.”

Planning committee chair Coun Eva Hughes said they imposed the condition because they shared Sport England’s objective ‘but the numbers speak for themselves’.

“Not only is this being achieved but additional pitches are being provided.

“Overall the council believes the sporting offer at the new site is far better than that of the old,” she said.