Updated: '˜Hundreds of parents' at Leeds primary opposing village green bid

PARENTS CAMPAIGNING against a plan to turn a field next to their children's school into a village green say more than 350 letters have been sent to the council opposing the application.

Parents and pupils who want Gledhow Primary to retain a school field rather than have it turned into a village green.

Leeds City Council is said to be considering the responses it has received over the application for land next to Gledhow Primary.

Parents who oppose the village green application are concerned because the school has already agreed to take on an extra class of pupils every year and had planned to expand onto this field.

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The controversy began when the school fenced off the field last year ahead of the planned expansion. It agreed to become a three-form entry primary to help meet demand for places.

However the Friends of Gledhow Field group objected to it being fenced off and submitted a bid, last year, for the land to be classed as a village green so it remains open for the community.

Now hundreds of parents are said to be backing a campaign opposing the village green plan. Jacky Burton, of the Gledhow Primary Parents Action Group, said: “My children will be going to the school and I got involved because I am concerned about the lack of space they will have on the site if they lose the field.

“The playing field is critical to the expansion of the school.”

She said that over time there would be an extra 210 children at the school once it becomes a three-form entry. The parents group have also said that the reason Leeds City Council had wanted Gledhow to expand was because it had land available.

Their campaign has won the support of Leeds North East’s Labour MP Fabian Hamilton.

He said: “The school has demonstrated its support for local families in creating additional school places and desperately needs adequate outdoor space as the school expands. Leeds City Council must decide quickly in favour of the school so that its children can enjoy the playing field that is rightfully theirs.”

Earlier this year Paul Sellars, of the Friends of Gledhow Field group, said he believed the best solution would be a compromise which allowed the community to use some of the field. He said the group represented the wider interests of the community including adults who use the field at weekends, evenings and during school holidays.

Leeds City Council’s website says that it is ”processing all representations received” regarding the village green bid.

The council is the registration authority which decides on the village green application.