New playing field for Henderson Green Primary School in Norwich after agreement reached for derelict land

A derelict patch of land will be reclaimed as a school playing field and given the royal stamp of approval after a long-running campaign was finally completed.

Norfolk County Council has reached an agreement with NELM (North Earlham, Larkman and Marlpit Trust), the owners of the land, to provide play area facilities at Henderson Green Primary School.

The land - worth in the region of �225,000 - will be known as Henderson Green Primary School Jubilee Playing Field, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

School headteacher, Janet Clay, said the playing fields would make 'a huge difference' to pupils, improving sporting opportunities and providing an outdoor learning space.

The school has been without suitable facilities since 2007, when it was turned from a first school into a primary school. The small playing field at the back of the school was not large enough for older children, who had to use other schools' facilities for events such as sports days.

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Residents organised a petition and collected nearly 800 signatures, lobbying the council to fund the playing field and suitable facilities – something the county council recognised last August was 'a major matter outstanding'.

Ms Clay said: 'The governors of the school, most notably Clare Smith, a parent governor, have been working hard to get a playing field for several years now and are excited about the forthcoming project.

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'It will make a huge difference to children at the school and has long been part of our vision to provide outstanding learning opportunities for all our pupils.'

Work to turn the derelict land next to the school into a playing field is expected to start shortly, though the full project will not be finished until the summer of 2013.

Ian Mackie, deputy leader of Norfolk County Council and cabinet member for finance and performance, who is leading for the authority on Diamond Jubilee issues, said: 'We have long recognised the need for a playing field for the pupils of Henderson Green, and the local community, and are very pleased that we have been able to purchase what will be known as Henderson Green Primary School Jubilee Playing Field.

'The Queen's Diamond Jubilee is all about bringing communities together to celebrate the contribution her majesty has made throughout her reign and what better way to bring the community together than by creating a playing field for this and future generations to enjoy, both for education and play?

'I am delighted that we have been able to reclaim this derelict area for the benefit of local children.'

Is your school planning new facilities? Contact reporter Mark Shields on 01603 772423 or

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