New sporting facility for Cramlington special school

A new sports pitch at a special school in Cramlington has been given the go-ahead.

By Ben O'Connell
Tuesday, 23 April, 2019, 15:32
Hillcrest School in Cramlington. Picture by Jane Coltman

A bid for the construction of a multi-use games area (MUGA) at Hillcrest Day Special School, on East View Avenue, was unanimously approved by the Cramlington, Bedlington and Seaton Valley Local Area Council last Wednesday (April 17).

The application had sparked no objections and the planning officer described the facility as ‘something that the Government and local authority seek to encourage’, but it had to be decided by the committee as it involves a county council development on council-owned land.

The proposed MUGA would measure around 30 by 16.5 metres with recessed goal ends and a synthetic-turf pitch in green.

It would be surrounded by a one-metre-high perimeter fence, constructed with timber rails and steel posts in green, which would be raised to three metres behind the goals.

The pitch, which would be located in the south-east corner of the school playing field with Northumbrian Road to the east and Church Street to the south, would be linked to the main school by a new concrete footpath.

The MUGA would not be open to the general public and, in response to a question from one of the councillors, it was confirmed that there will no floodlighting, as the pitch will only be in use during school hours.

Temporary access would be formed onto Church Street through the removal of a section of hedging during the construction phase and Coun Malcolm Robinson was disappointed by the fact that preparatory works had reportedly already started on site ahead of planning permission being granted.

However, he and all of the other members were supportive of this additional facility for the school.

Coun Barry Flux described it as very, very welcome, saying: “Several of us here are Cramlington town councillors and we have a vision of Cramlington being a child-friendly town. I one hundred per cent endorse this application.”

Coun Christine Dunbar reported a visit she had made to the school last year, adding that the MUGA ‘will be well-used by the children there’.

Coun Mark Swinburn added: “To be able to provide something extra is brilliant.”