Ecclesall Primary School welcome sign.

A beautiful green area, which has been a playground for generations of children, was once present in the High Storrs area in Ecclesall. The playground is still there but a few years ago it was substantially reduced by a highly controversial school merger and now, not content with the damage that has already been done, the school has submitted a planning application for the construction of a new Multi Use Sports Area (MUGA), which will cover most of the remaining green area. Basically, grass will be replaced by whatever synthetic material they will decide to use. It is an environmental crime, which we can hardly tolerate in view of the current climatic crisis and due to serious concerns about the loss of biodiversity in Sheffield and elsewhere. The educational message that the school is giving to its students by wiping out most of its green area is very concerning.

Peter Gilbert from Ecclesall Greens said “Most parents, pupils, and residents are appalled as many highly articulate and deeply felt objections demonstrate (versus only a handful of messages of support). Parents and residents have pointed out the educational and health benefits of children enjoying creative play in green spaces. Many chose Ecclesall just because it had this green space.”

 It is also highly questionable that primary school children will benefit from a hard eight-lane athletics track more than from an open green field to run in and explore. There is also a great deal of perplexity about the behaviour of the school management, which has failed to consult children and their parents before moving forward with their planning application.

Ecclesall Primary Schools' threatened playing field.One further consideration is that a large amount of money is going to be spent on an unpopular project in a relatively affluent area, while many schools in Sheffield cannot even afford to repair their often-derelict buildings and facilities.

People in the community are very concerned about the gradual disappearance of green spaces in Ecclesall and are determined to object to this further assault on the natural world in all possible ways.  

Please, do register your objection by logging in here, where you’ll also be able to check previous comments. The current deadline for comments is 26 July but the sooner the comments are sent the better.