Cawston Primary extension agreed - despite playing field fears from Sport England

A new building that will provide extra child care and extended school facilities in a Norfolk village has been passed - despite objections from Sport England about the loss of some of the playing field.

Cawston Primary School headteacher Kay Swann said she was 'delighted' after Norfolk County Council's planning (regulatory) committee agreed the plan today.

And, with the modular building already on site, Mrs Swann said she hoped it would be ready to use by next Easter.

The project had been held up because of an objection from Sport England, which said: 'The part of the playing field affected is capable of accommodating sports fields.

'The proposal would result in the reduction of available playing field area and does not provide any compensatory measures.'

Mrs Swann said: 'We did take the playing field into consideration. This building takes up one-sixth of the field. We still have sufficient grounds for two football pitches and an athletics track.'

The single-storey building is funded by the council's extended schools service and will be used for a breakfast club, after school club and child care service for 60 children.

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Mrs Swann said: 'At the moment, those services happen in the school hall, which is not ideal.

It will also be used for Sure Start services, including one-to-one work with parents and family planning advice - with the possibility of a pre-school in the future.

Mrs Swann added: 'We are absolutely delighted. We think it's a very positive thing for the community. It will mean we can provide a good quality of child care.

'It will provide the services that will enable parents to get back to work while their children are being looked after.'

A few residents also objected to the plan, on the grounds of potential noise nuisance.

But a report to the meeting said there was 'no viable alternative to building on the playing field', and 'no material harm will be caused as a result of noise'.

The school, on Aylsham Road, has 160 four-11-year-olds.

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