Grainville School applies to turn field into a sports pitch

THE number of pupils at Grainville is expected to increase to over 800 in the next few years and the school is trying to add some much-needed outdoor space for its students.

Grainville School (24378098)
Grainville School (24378098)

According to a recent Planning application, the school would like to turn an unused, neighbouring field into a sports pitch.

An application submitted by the Education Minister on the school’s behalf says the land would be acquired through a ‘land swap’, where Les Hereaux, the company which owns the land, would give it to Grainville in exchange for a wooded area currently in public ownership.

The documents submitted in support of the plans say that the school rarely uses the wooded area and the head teacher has identified it as a safety hazard as it has steep contours and a pond within it.

Under the proposals, that land would be fenced off from the school but the company would grant a licence allowing them to access it as necessary.

And the school would take over a portion of a field designated as 367 for sports purposes.

Field could be turned into a sports pitch Picture: ROB CURRIE. (24389214)

With the student body expected to surpass 800 pupils by the mid-2020s, the current grass pitch is ‘inadequate’ for a school of that size, the application states.

Measuring 9,200 sq m, the current pitch is only a quarter of the size recommended by building guidelines from the UK Department of Education.

Even with the additional space, the school would still be operating with less than half the recommended outdoor space.

‘The Education Department is concerned about the amount of outside space available for Grainville students,’ the application letter continues.

‘The land swap will enable the school to provide the correct facilities for its students.’

The Education Department said the proposed new sports field could also benefit nearby FCJ Primary, which has recently moved to a two-form entry and hopes to eventually add a nursery.

The Planning application says FCJ hopes to increase the size of its hall but can only do so at the cost of losing play space.

‘If the land swap is approved, this will facilitate an opportunity for the States of Jersey to discuss with FCJ Primary School whether it is possible to increase the size of their play space and enable improvements to traffic management,’ the application says.

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