Blackpool school wins fight to build elevated playground to 'battle obesity'

St Kentigerns Primary School on Newton Drive
St Kentigerns Primary School on Newton Drive
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A school has won its battle to build an elevated playground after councillors ruled the wellbeing of pupils outweighed residents’ fears over noise.

Blackpool Council’s planning committee approved a bid for a first floor decked area enclosed by a three metre high fence at St Kentigern’s Primary School on Newton Drive.

Coun Adrian Hutton

Coun Adrian Hutton

Headteacher Frances Wygladala said the school had one of the highest rates of obesity in Blackpool among its Year Six pupils, so it was vital children had more space to exercise in.

She said: “Some children do very little physical exercise at home as they would rather play on their computers or games consoles. We need to get them active. They are seriously disadvantaged and the play deck will give more space for them to run.”

The school has secured a grant through the sugar tax to fund the playground.

Councillors were also told a sound assessment had been carried out which found average noise levels of 20 decibels, which was deemed acceptable.

The application had been deferred at the last meeting of the planning committee for further talks between the school and residents.

Objector James Holmes, of Bryan Road, said he remained opposed and was concerned the playground would create an eyesore at the end of his garden.

He said: “This development will dominate the rear of my house. It will loom over my garden.

“It is also cheap, plastic and wholly inappropriate.”

But councillors ruled measures had been taken to reduce any impact on residents.

Coun Adrian Hutton said: “The very small possible disadvantages to the residents are outweighed by the benefits to the children.”

St Kentigern’s, which was built in 1904 and has 210 pupils, is the oldest catholic school in Blackpool.