Save our Playing Fields at Stoke Lodge
Dear Parents / Carers
Cotham School has been fighting to regain the use of Stoke Lodge Playing Fields, on which we have a 125-year lease, against a Town and Village Green (TVG) Application. The Inspector who led a public enquiry on the TVG in the summer has finally recommended to the Council to reject the TVG application, which goes in our favour. But this is not the end of the process:
- On Monday, the Bristol City Council will decide whether to follow the Inspector’s recommendation: you can attend the hearing at Bristol City Hall, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TR at 2pm
- The School has made a planning application to fence the area around the playing fields so that our children can start using those again (we currently rent space at other facilities because of this dispute). You can express your support for the application under this link, Deadline Thursday 15 December.
The arguments to put forward are:
- The school needs to fence off the playing fields to make them a safe and secure environment free from intrusion.
- The area where our children exercise must be fenced off so that they are safe, secure and protected from harm. We do not want our children exposed to risks to their health and safety. This is an Ofsted requirement.
- Many of our children live in the inner city with minimal access to outdoor space and with after school time dominated by essential study. They need the minimum 2 hours PE per week, playing outdoors together with their peers in a safe space. Without it, their physical and mental wellbeing is compromised and they have fewer opportunities to let off steam.
- Fencing the area will allow the school to invest in those playing fields to allow appropriate physical exercise to take place: changing facilities need to be greatly improved as currently unusable; the school needs to invest in cricket nets and in specialist drainage works necessary to keep pitches in good repair.
- Our children need the minimum 2 hours PE per week, playing outdoors together with their peers in a safe space. Without it, their physical and mental wellbeing is compromised and they have fewer opportunities to let off steam.
The school currently pays rent for two playing fields: Stoke Lodge and Coombe Dingle (£25k pa), where students currently have their PE lessons.
The school is likely to suffer heavy financial cuts from the government: -13% per student (or £757k pa). It therefore cannot afford to pay for both.
It is urgent that the school is able to use Stoke Lodge as playing fields for the children's continued wellbeing.
3. You can contact and influence your councillors and MP on this matter, using the letter below as a template (but please write in your own words). Please send the letters to Tom Dunsdon at the City Council by Friday morning: Mr Tom Dunsdon, Solicitor, Community & Litigation Team, Legal Services, Bristol City Council, PO Box 3176, Bristol BS3 9FS Tel: 0117 922 2546; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your support!