The playing field at Oundle CE Primary School have been protected from sell-off by Northamptonshire County Council, and saved for generations of pupils. With the support of Tom Pursglove MP, the community appeal to retain the playing field was upheld by a recent decision from Lord Theodore Agnew, Under Secretary of State for the School System.
When Oundle Primary School moved from its location in Milton Road to Cotterstock Road in 2016, Northamptonshire County Council said a portion of the playing fields was redundant to requirements and announced their plans to sell the land. After a campaign by Hands off Our Field led by Julie Grove, the council agreed to transfer the majority of the playing fields to the school, but opted to retain one acre of the field for development, which it valued at £1m.
Objections to the sale observed that the land did not feature in the town plan for housing.
However, with budget deficits in sight, NCC was determined to realise funds from the sale of potential land for development. Before planning consent for development could be considered, the council was required to seek consent from the Secretary of State to dispose of playing field land under Section 77 of the School Standards and Framework Act.
Oundle CE Primary School has now converted to academy status to become part of the Peterborough Diocese Education Trust. With this transfer of the school from the local authority, the playing fields have been confirmed as belonging to the school, and will remain available for the continued use of future generations.