Playing field joy for Norwich schoolchildren

Schoolchildren will finally get the green space they have longed for after councillors rubber-stamped a move to turn a derelict patch of land into a playing field.

Pupils at Henderson Green Primary School in Earlham have had to put up with the amount of grass playing space they have not meeting the government requirements for a school of that size.

The school, in Irstead Road, 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.

Residents organised a petition and collected nearly 800 signatures, lobbying the council to fund the playing field and suitable facilities.

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

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And at a meeting of the county council's planning committee today. councillors granted permission for the change of use of the land.

Norwich City Council had objected, questioning issues around car parking, but county council officers said they were satisfied with the number of parking places which formed part of the planning application.

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The land is due to be known as Henderson Green Primary School Jubilee Playing Field, in honour of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.

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

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