‘Waterlogged’ primary school to get new multi-use sports pitch

PITCH PERFECT: A digital rendering of the site

Kent County Council has approved an application to build a new ‘3G’ synthetic turf, multi-use games pitch at Bidborough CofE Primary School, near Tunbridge Wells.

The school, in Spring Lane, has 208 pupils and is built on a hill. The current sloping pitch is located near the bottom of the site and often becomes waterlogged in winter. As a result, the school has been unable to offer a full Physical Education curriculum to its pupils.

School Committee Chairman, Cllr Andy Booth (Con) said on the school website last week that the application would amount to a ‘dramatic improvement to the school’.

“The news comes as a welcome boost, particularly given that it has been so wet, and the field is still very muddy and waterlogged!” Cllr Booth explained.

To create the new pitch, the ground will be levelled out before it is laid with an all-weather porous surface that will allow the water to seep through it.

The application for the pitch had encountered opposition because of its location in an area of outstanding natural beauty, and concerns had been voiced that fencing would be an eyesore.

Although the school lies within a greenbelt and close to a conservation area, planning officers said the application was approved because it involved replacing an existing pitch with another. No trees would be disturbed, and no new parking spaces would be created.

The pitch will be surrounded by a new, 3-metre-high metal fence painted green, and there will be no floodlighting around the pitch. No games will be played after 6pm and only very exceptionally on Sundays.

The pitch will, however, be available for school sports lessons and for after-school clubs.

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