June 20 2013 Latest news:
by Stephen Pullinger
Friday, June 29, 2012
A GREAT YARMOUTH school is celebrating the good news that it is finally to secure a playing field in its centenary year.
After a bureaucratic battle dating back to 2008 Cobholm Primary School is poised to receive land for a playing field alongside its Mill Road site before the end of term.
Borough council officers had agreed the hand-over of the authority-owned land to Norfolk County Council more than three years ago.
However, what was hoped would be a simple process was beset by a series of delays - and the final blow came earlier this year when red-faced officers discovered that a private company, Landfast, apparently had an option to buy the plot.
It was quickly found out that the company’s option had expired, but it was only the intervention this week by the borough council’s property services manager, Andy Dyson, that finally broke the deadlock.
He said: “I have given an undertaking that the borough council will iron out any remaining problems and all the documents are now being signed.
“There should be nothing to do now and I am hoping the school will have their land by the end of next week.”
Local borough councillor John Holmes, who has worked hard to support the school in its fight, said: “I am absolutely delighted that this long-running saga is coming to an end.
“I have emails going back two or three years from officers saying, ‘let’s get round the table and sort it’, and yet it went on.
“It would be really great now if the children can stand on the land before the end of term and say, ‘this is ours’.”
He praised the intervention of borough council officers in “going the extra mile” to resolve it.
Head teacher Julie Risby said: “This is absolutely brilliant. It is the final piece in the jigsaw for the school following its £2.4m building project two years ago.”
She said the land would open up a lot of opportunities for outdoor education, including science, environmental studies and an after-school gardening club as well as sport.
She said: “Hopefully, we will be able to organise a celebration event with the children during the last week of term when we can finally bury our time capsule to mark our centenary year.”