Plea over playing fields decision
A COUNCILLOR is calling on Secretary of State for Education Michael Gove to have a rethink about allowing a Newquay academy to sell part of its site to Tesco following fears students’ sporting prospects will be damaged.
Tretherras Cornwall councillor Patrick Lambshead is concerned a large part of the Newquay Tretherras site earmarked for sale is greenfield land used for sports lessons. He believes this does not sit well with the Government’s idea of an Olympic legacy to try to encourage more children to take up sport.
The proposed scheme would involve building a new superstore on the junior side of the school, which incorporates greenfield land at the top of Glamis Road, the Hexagon Theatre and Happy Days Nursery.
The academy will use the money to fund its vision for the future, which involves relocating classrooms used by Years 7 and 8 to the other side of the school and building a community theatre and a shared library facility.
Objectors have several concerns about the project as they believe the academy will need the land in the future. They also fear the impact on nearby Chester Road shops and the Growth Area. They also have worries about traffic, noise and the safety of pupils.
Cllr Lambshead has written a letter to Mr Gove asking him to reconsider his decision in principle to allow part of the academy site to be sold to Tesco. Cornwall Council would have to agree any planning proposal before the scheme gets the go-ahead if the sale goes ahead.
He said: “I am told that the extension would have to include the destruction of an all-weather hockey pitch in addition to the loss of the green sports field.
“With the Olympics just finished and the Prime Minister, Lords Coe and Moynihan and Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt calling for an Olympic legacy and more school sports, it seems to me strange that Tretherras should be allowed to sell off sporting land which cannot be replaced.
The area involved includes the main road into Newquay, with twin mini-roundabouts, which gets clogged up in the winter, let alone in the summer, in Cornwall's premier resort. In addition the Duchy of Cornwall has great plans for 4,000 homes in the Newquay Growth Area, including 4,000 jobs.
“The Growth Area is dependant on the ‘high street’ having a supermarket to fund the bridges and roads. If a supermarket was to be built at Tretherras, a few hundred yards away, it could jeopardise the whole scheme which is the future of Newquay. The Duchy has also said that it is willing, subject to Cornwall Council, to bring forward the paying of the education levy, roof tax, to enable Tretherras to help fund the refurbishment of the school which is only around 60 years old.”