New school causes soccer club row

A FOOTBALL club today claimed it would look for a new home if moves to build a new £1.5million school on playing fields it uses goes ahead.Persimmon is set to submit plans for a 530-home development on Hackney's Corner in Great Blakenham, near to the proposed £320million SnOasis project.

A FOOTBALL club today claimed it would look for a new home if moves to build a new £1.5million school on playing fields it uses goes ahead.

Persimmon is set to submit plans for a 530-home development on Hackney's Corner in Great Blakenham, near to the proposed £320million SnOasis project.

To cope with the expected influx of families to the area, the developers and Suffolk County Council are in negotiations about building a new school.

One suggested location is playing fields used by Claydon Football Club, although this has not been finalised.

Godfrey Spanner, managing director of Onslow Suffolk Ltd, who own the land, said: "The most obvious site for a school will be the one currently used by Claydon Football Club.

"I've said to them they won't be disrupted and if they wish to keep an eye out for a suitable piece of land I'll help them secure it. I've also told them they're more than welcome to carry on using the football pitches that will be alongside the primary school.

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"We've let the club use the pitches free of charge for three-and-a-half years and we're not forcing them to move by any means."

Andy Ingram, chairman of the 15-team club, said although the site would still be available for them to use, its reduced size is unlikely to be suitable.

He said: "We've been speaking to Onslow about relocation because we've got serious concerns about what's being planned. We think it would rip our heart out if we stayed.

"The plans would mean a road and a roundabout going through the site, which could leave us with a child protection issue.

"We've also been told the fields would be available for anyone to use, which is likely to mean the pitches would not be kept to their current standard."

Moira Jackson, of the county council, confirmed negotiations are under way about the need for a school but added no site has been definitely earmarked.

She said: "The number of houses planned for the development is likely to generate a significant number of children and we therefore need to plan for additional school places in the area."

The application is likely to be considered by Mid Suffolk District Council in September, at the same time as separate bids for a train station and winter sports resort.

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