Academy u-turn on skate park revealed

Adrian Ball has been appointed as executive principal at Thetford Academy

Adrian Ball has been appointed as executive principal at Thetford Academy - Credit: Archant

An academy which has objected to plans for a new skate park in Thetford was previously behind the proposal, a report has revealed.

Thetford Academy's executive principal, Adrian Ball, wrote to Breckland Council in January to raise objections to the plans for the £100,000 facility proposed for a site adjacent to the school off Joe Blunt's Lane.

The letter raises four main areas of concern centred on safety and security at the school being compromised.

But a report sent to Breckland from Maurice Howard, clerk for Thetford Town Council, states that the school's previous principal, Cathy Spillane, had shown support for the plans, entered by Thetford Town Council.

The report states that Ms Spillane had been 'particularly enthusiastic about the project' during a meeting on March 21 last year.

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'The Principal was very supportive and so enthusiastic about the project, she immediately brought in other relevant parties to discuss the potential for the Academy to assist in any way it could, seeing the benefits of having such a facility close by,' it said.

'Further, she felt there would be enormous benefit in providing locker facilities for Academy students to store their belongings, such as skate boards, during the school day.'

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Mr Ball was appointed as executive principal in September and the report states that since then, the town council has been afford two 'short' meetings with the academy.

It also says a request to speak to the academy's governors has not been granted.

Mr Howard's report said it was 'a shame' that Mr Ball had raised objections.

'It was both surprising and disappointing to learn that the Executive Principal had written to Croxton Parish Council with his concerns.

'However, as these concerns have now been publicised on the planning website we can work towards addressing them,' it said.

A petition has been set up in support of the park, with more than 1,600 signatures collected by Monday.

To see the petition, click here

Are you backing the skate park plans? Email Andrew Fitchett to tell us what you think.

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