Home > Education, newspaper stories > Backing over Eash Winning school site rethink plans From The Northern Echo

Backing over Eash Winning school site rethink plans From The Northern Echo

COUNCILLORS have backed the scrapping of plans to re-site a village school so that the development of a play area can go ahead.

Durham County Council was to have rebuilt Esh Winning Primary School, which is at The Wynds, on land off Woodlands Road in the centre of the village.

The Woodlands Road site is considered by residents to be a village green – an application to give it official green status is to be made – and there were objections to the plan.

But the council’s cabinet yesterday confirmed that the school will now be rebuilt on its current site, freeing the other land for the play area.

David Williams, corporate director for children and young people, said the change was being made because the residents’ association had won a £50,000 grant from the Big Lottery Fund towards a new play area for two to 17- year-olds on the Woodlands Road site.

John Wilkinson, Liberal Democrat councillor for Deerness Valley, welcomed the move, saying the village would get a 21st Century school and a new play area that would help reduce antisocial behaviour. “The young people of the village now have somewhere to go and something to do,” he said.

Joe Armstrong, Labour councillor for Esh, said he believed the school should be in the centre of the village but “you have got to be pragmatic, £50,000 from the Big Lottery – you can’t let that go by.”

He added that he was pleased the village was getting the investment and that he hoped it would lead to better educational attainment.

Claire Vasey, cabinet member for children and young people’s services, said the council was right to reconsider the site of the school in the light of the play area plans.

“By rebuilding the school on the existing site we will be able to maximise the use of land and ensure that the village gets 21st Century educational facilities,’’ she said.

Council leader Simon Henig said the scheme would provide facilities that the children of Esh Winning deserve.

He thanked local councillors, school governors and Durham City Labour MP Roberta Blackman-Woods for their contributions to talks about the issue.

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