Council plans Community Use Agreement to preserve public access to part of Peterborough's Werrington Fields
and live on Freeview channel 276
Peterborough City Council has announced new plans to provide some community use of Werrington Fields that are at a centre of dispute over public access.
The could says it hopes a Community Use Agreement can retain community use of the fields outside of school teaching hours.
The council says it musty fence off the fields, which are used by children at Ken Stimpson Academy, in order to ensure the proper safeguarding of the pupils.
But a community use agreement between the council and the academy could ensure public use of part of the fields outside of school hours.
The announcement comes after Peterborough MP Paul Bristow had written to the local authority’s chief executive Matt Gladstone urging the council to support residents who wanted to maintain public access to the fields that has been enjoyed for years.
Mr Bristow had offered to meet with the Secretary of State for Education who had told the council that its safeguarding duty to the pupils meant it had to fence off the fields and that the local authority had no right of appeal against the decision.
A council spokesperson said: "Our focus remains on the safety of the children who attend this school so we will now move forward with a planning application for the installation of a fence.
"This will also include details of a Community Use Agreement that will leave an area of the field for community use outside normal school hours.
" As part of the planning process, people will have the opportunity to comment on the application prior to any decisions being made.
"We hope this will be welcome news to those residents who were concerned about the loss of open space in this location."
"We thank the MP for his letter and his offer to approach the Secretary of State, however our application was rejected with no right of appeal against the decision.
The Academy has used the fields since the 1980s, but began to raise safeguarding concerns over the public having shared access to them in the late 2010s.