Lenny Barn Playing Fields
Posted By: Wera Hobhouse
Date Posted: 23/07/2010
A public meeting took place in the Town Hall on Thursday 22nd July about the loss of Playing Fields on Lenny Barn and proposals to swap land in three different locations in compensation. I called the meeting following concerns from local residents who were not satisfied that the proposals were in the best interest of the charitable purposes of Lenny Barn. The meeting was attended by Council officers as well as local councillors and some 40 members of the public.
Falinge Park High School has been identified for a rebuild under the Council’s successful Building Schools for the Future programme. In order to cause as little disruption for pupils as possible and to avoid costs associated with temporary accommodation during building work the council has proposed to completely rebuild the school on Lenny Barn Playing Fields.
But the Council has to provide compensation for the loss of open playing fields and is currently consulting with the public on three alternative sites located at the former Innes School, an area within Falinge Park and at Foxholes.
The meeting was very useful, because people understood that we have to balance the need of the pupils attending the school against the loss of open playing fields, which are protected under charity law. Two main issues remain open for discussion following the meeting: The first is to which extent is it acceptable to build on Lenny Barn and whether the Council will reconsider the plan to completely rebuild the school. The second is whether the three sites currently proposed as compensation are suitable, and the benefits these new sites would provide to the public.
The Council will draw up proposals following the consultation, but the proposals will also have to be agreed by the Charity Commission.
The consultation period ends on the 13th of August. For more information and to make a comment go to the Council’s website: http://www.rochdale.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/consultations/current_consultation_-_service/lenny_barn_playing_fields_cons.aspx
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