Corbridge Middle School and the proposed development on land west of Milkwell Lane
Work has been continuing in relation to the proposed development of 181 houses adjacent to Milkwell Lane, which was granted outline planning permission in September 2016. All other matters for this planning application were reserved except for access which is to be taken from Cow Lane, Corbridge.

An application (Section 77) has recently been submitted to the Secretary of State for Education by Northumberland County Council. This application is for the disposal of a strip of playing field on the Corbridge Middle School site to allow the widening of Cow Lane for access to the development. A decision has not yet been made by the Secretary of State and we do not know when this might be.

The following statement was made by the governing body of Corbridge Middle School for the application in support of the disposal of a strip of playing field land to provide access for a housing development. "The developers of the land are providing a car park and bus drop off/turning circle for use by the school, plus finance for the provision of an artificial grass pitch for use both by the school and the local community. With the provision of an artificial grass pitch the school will retain sufficient playing fields to meet the necessary guidelines. The provision of “off street” school parking facilities will greatly improve the safety of school transport. The provision of an artificial grass pitch will enhance the provision of sport and recreation for both the school and community of Corbridge. The capital receipts raised from the sale of the land are covering part of the cost of building a new school for Queen Elizabeth High School and Hexham Middle School which are within the local partnership of schools."

So, as part of the application to dispose of some land, it is proposed that an artificial grass pitch be provided at the school. This would be for use by the school, local sports clubs and our community. The developer and the landowners of the site, have entered into an agreement with Corbridge Middle School to provide the majority of the funding for this artificial grass pitch in order to satisfy the requirements of the application process. The school will need to gain further funding of £50k to £75k from other sources to meet the expected cost.

For the school, one of the most attractive benefits of an artificial grass pitch is full accessibility throughout the year which will benefit both our pupils during physical education lessons, curriculum enrichment activities as well as at leisure times during the school day. We hope the pitch will support many in-school sports, including cricket, football, hockey, rugby, and tennis, thus providing many more opportunities in school, throughout the academic year, as well as increased engagement with community organisations. We also believe such a facility would be an amazing asset for the community of Corbridge.

Consultation 3rd June to 1st July
Whilst we await the decision of the Secretary of State; the governing board of Corbridge Middle School wish to seek the views of all stakeholders affected by this proposal. This consultation will run for 4 weeks from 3rd June until 1st July. Information provided will inform a planning application and also provide valuable information when applying for further funding. Stakeholders will include:

- staff and pupils of the school
- immediate neighbours of the school site
- Tynedale Rugby Club
- Corbridge United
- Corbridge Parish Council
- residents of Corbridge

A meeting at school has been arranged for our immediate neighbours of the school site on Tuesday 11th June at 7pm. This will enable residents to meet with members of the governing board to hear about and discuss in more detail what is proposed.

Here are details of what is proposed with an opportunity to share your views. There will be a need to apply for planning approval for the installation of an artificial grass pitch. The detailed design for the pitch will not be finalised until this consultation with all stakeholders is complete. We hope you will take the time to respond to this exciting project, so that the planning application may incorporate the views of our local community and also provide evidence for any funding applications. It is expected that if the Secretary of State for Education permits NCC to dispose of playing field, this project would take 12 months to complete, if planning permission is granted.

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