Mirfield playground plan was news to school

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KIRKLEES Council put plans in to build a playground at a Mirfield school without telling any of the staff, a meeting heard.

The council submitted an application for a new playground on playing fields next to Hopton Primary School, but a Mirfield town councillor said staff knew nothing about the plan, which has now been withdrawn.

The application was prompted by the closure of a playground at the bottom of Newgate which was built on land leased to the council which the landowner wanted back.

The proposed playground at Hopton Primary had been approved by Mirfield Town Council’s plans and environment committee, under the assumption that it was backed by the school.

A statement in Kirklees Council’s application said: “Ward councillors, the school and members of the local community are in support of the scheme and chosen location.”

But during a town council committee meeting last Wednesday, chairman Coun Keith Sibbald said: “The school knew nothing about the application which was put in by Kirklees Council.”

He said that the committee had not realised the new playground was to replace the one in Newgate.

When it found out the Newgate playground was being demolished, the committee overturned its decision on the new playground to give parents a chance to share their views on the Hopton Primary site.

But more than a dozen parents arrived at Wednesday’s meeting to find out that the application had been withdrawn anyway.

A Kirklees Council spokesman said: “This was one of a number of tentative planning applications designed to test the feasibility of possible sites.”

Coun Kath Taylor said: “The problem is there are lots of houses but there is not a lot of land to put a playground in.”

Parents complained that they were not told the Newgate playground was to close, even though Kirklees Council had known for a year.

Parents were advised to make their case to a meeting of Mirfield’s full town council, or consider a bid to buy the land where the Newgate playground used to be.

What do you think?

Did you know about Kirklees Council’s plans?

Where should a replacement playground be built?

Email robert.cooke@ywng.co.uk.