Saturday, November 03, 2012

As expected, Yarm Independent School has put in its reduced application for school playing fields on the Egglescliffe bank of the Tees.  Gone are the all weather pitches, which would have seriously improved their provision for sport all the year round but are accepted by the Planning officer as being completely out of keeping with the surrounding area.  Gone are the pitches on the doorstep of Egglescliffe village.  No doubt the school hopes that opposition will die away.  How wrong can they be?
A recent meeting of the Egglescliffe Area Residents' Association committee confirmed that though this is an improvement it is still 11 pitches and a pavilion too many on the river bank.  The school are proud of the fact that half of their pupils are involved in sport on Saturdays during term time.  Allowing for approximately half of them being involved in away matches, this means about 500 pupils, parents and teachers - maybe more if the parents are enthusiastic.  This is an unimaginable intrusion into the peace and tranquility of the flood zone on the river bank.  What hope for humans to enjoy the area, let alone the wild life?
The discussions with the planning officer have changed the architecture of the pavilion to a wooden chalet style, reminiscent of the Swiss Alps.  Gone is the hospitality label - now it's entirely for padding up, toilet and first aid provision.  That's certainly an improvement but the pavilion could be built on their present playing fields for much the same cost one would imagine.
The access to the bridge on the Yarm side of the river is being moved away from  Minerva Mews but is still closer than those residents would like.  The thought of 30 or more boys and girls walking over the bridge every hour or so past their front windows is not pleasant.  The thought of hundreds on Saturdays is worse.  Add to that the idea that the general public can use it any hour of the day or night and amenity becomes significantly impaired for those residents whose windows are closest to the bridge.  Having observed the behaviour of a large group of the senior boys of the school when we did the walk on the river bank to protest against the development I dread to think what they'd be like when walking past windows unsupervised.
This is a development too far on the Tees Heritage Park, near to the Egglescliffe Conservation Area and needs to be stopped in its tracks.  I hope that all who sent in objections to the initial proposal will be sending them in for this one.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Rigg,
I'm somewhat disappointed by what appears to be the bitter and twisted spin you have presented regarding the proposed developments on land to the north of the River Tees in Yarm. I'm not sure if it was you or one of your colleagues who fabricated the suggestion that the 'hospitality facilities' in the pavilion consisted of something more than a kitchen to prepare hot and cold non-alcoholic drinks and sandwiches but whoever it was should really be ashamed of themselves. The proposal has never been for a ‘sports club’ with a liquor license as you should be aware from the fact that there hasn’t been and will not be any application made under the 2003 Licensing Act. I know it's sometimes difficult for people in local government to stick to the facts rather than stirring emotions but it is expected of them.