7:50am Wednesday 11th September 2013
PLANS to upgrade sports and environmental facilities at a Halesowen primary school have won the go-ahead.
Dudley planners have approved a scheme for a new grass football pitch, tarmac play ground, an early years learning area and forest area at Olive Hill Primary School.
It represents the final piece of work stemming from property developer St Modwen’s controversial relocation of Coombs Wood Sports and Social Club onto a greenbelt beauty spot to make way for housing.
In return for building a new cricket ground and bowling green on the Coombeswood Green Wedge, the company offered to fund the developments at the primary school, which borders the wedge, as part of the overall £2 million scheme.
It also agreed to create a warden-controooled nature reserve and four new paths across the open space, which was done earlier this year.
The improvements at Olive Hill have been delayed because the school requested changes from the original plans to meet its current needs and future requirements.
St Modwen’s senior development surveyor Ian Romano said: “In moving forward with the proposals at Olive Hill Primary School, we are able to create a much improved play and educational environmental for pupils and visitors to the facility.
“We will commence work in the next few months, mindful of the need to fit the construction around that of the day to day running of the school. We expect work to take around six months to complete.”
Headteacher Rachel Cutting, who was appointed following the resignation of her predecessor in 2011, said: “We’re really looking forward to work commencing and, of course, completing on our planned new facilities, which will offer pupils an enhanced environment in which to learn and play.”
Back in 2008, protesters against the cricket club being built on the wedge claimed St Modwen was using the school as a “pawn” in its bid to win permission to build on the wedge.
Coombs Wood Sports and Social Club opened its new Stewarts Road premises earlier this year and 59 houses have been built on its home of 90 years off Coombs Road.
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