Peterborough council 'will hold off on Werrington fields fence plans' while it seeks compromise

It will first hold further talks with government
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Plans to submit a planning application for a fence around Werrington Fields have been put “on hold” by the council while talks are held with government.

Andrew Pakes, Labour's parliamentary candidate for Peterborough, says the council now has a “fighting chance” to find a solution that works for local residents and the school which uses them for sports.

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Last month, it was revealed the Secretary of State had refused the council’s request to formally change the use of part of the fields to public land so that another part could be fenced off for use by the Ken Stimpson Academy.

Werrington FieldsWerrington Fields
Werrington Fields
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In response, Peterborough City Council (PCC) said it would have to fence off the entirety of the fields to allay the school’s safeguarding concerns, but would apply for planning permission first with an attached community use agreement to continue some level of use for residents outside school hours.

Now, the council has paused this process while Mr Pakes and Peterborough's MP Paul Bristow speak to the Department of Education, which could result in a smaller part of the fields fenced off after all.

Cllr John Fox (Peterborough First, Werrington) confirmed this, saying he has always supported fencing off a portion of the fields for the school but not fencing off the whole lot.

Ken Stimpson Academy, WerringtonKen Stimpson Academy, Werrington
Ken Stimpson Academy, Werrington
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Campaigners have also liaised with Mr Bristow in the hopes he can facilitate talks with the Secretary of State.

But the Save Werrington Fields group – and Mr Bristow – say they don’t believe the government intended to imply the council had to fence off all of the fields for the school by refusing their request for a change of use.

Group member Tony Forster said the council is “in theory, amenable to a compromise” between the schools and residents but believes it’s “mandated” by government to instal the fencing.

He added that the group is waiting to see what happens with regards to a possible planning application, but thinks the group will launch a “massive campaign” if one is submitted.

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The council hasn’t yet submitted a planning application but has advertised notice of its intention to “appropriate an area of public open space at Ken Stimpson Academy, Stanliand Way”.

This predates their decision to pause the planning application.

The council has been contacted for comment.