Stoke Lodge playing fields: Cotham School to build controversial fence

Stoke Lodge playing fields: Cotham School to build controversial fence

Cotham School has confirmed it will construct a fence around Stoke Lodge playing fields, despite a campaign against it.

Bristol City Council gave the school permission to put up a fence around the playing fields last month.

The dispute over the use of the fields has been ongoing for eight years, with the school trying to keep local residents off the playing fields but the residents launched a bid to keep it open to all.

Cotham School said: “We are delighted to announce that students will be returning to the school playing fields at Stoke Lodge very soon. Students have not been able to use the sports fields since 2014.

“We have worked with Bristol City Council on this and they have confirmed the following: ‘The sports fields DO NOT fall within the curtilage of the listed Stoke Lodge building. As a result any enclosure would benefit from normal permitted development rights.’

“The school does not require the council’s consent as landlord should the school wish to proceed with its proposals to erect a fence at Stoke Lodge playing fields.”

However a spokeswoman from We Love Stoke Lodge group said she was “very surprised” by the decision.

“OFSTED have confirmed they do not require a fence and many health and safety experts have said it is not required,” she said.

“So many schools are welcoming their communities into open playing fields.

“We can only assume that these plans are in keeping with the beautiful Grade II-listed Stoke Lodge, the last open green space in Stoke Bishop.

“I also look forward to understanding how any plans consider the current Public Rights of Way and Town or Village Green applications.

“Our community, councillors and MP look forward to hearing from the council on how, when and why they reversed their position, which clearly stated that the school was not allowed to erect a fence under permitted development.”

A spokesman from the council confirmed that the school does not require planing permission for a fence and that both TVG and PROW application were separate from the fence.

But We Love Stoke Lodge said they have been told different.

The school, which entered into a long lease with the council to use Stoke Lodge from 2011, said it will start work on a fence now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.