Academy has big plans for a sporting future

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A Clifton school is planning big changes for its sports facilities.

Samuel Whitbread Academy has launched a community consultation on the disposal of land and the development of sports facilities at the Shefford Road site.

In a consulation document the Academy sets out plans for using part of its land for 64 new houses, which will fund new sporting facilities.

The document says: “Since the Samuel Whitbread Academy opened in 1973 there have been no improvements to the outside sports facilities despite the number of students on role rising from around 500 to over 1700.

“This lack of facilities means that, although the school is now one of the largest in the country and is rated as being Good with Outstanding Features by OFSTED, it has some of the poorest sports facilities to be found in a school of its size.

“It is therefore our intention to develop some of the playing fields at the Academy by providing an extensive range of new sports facilities for the benefit of our students and the local community. To help fund this major improvement, part of the land will be used to build 64 new homes. The planning permission for which has already been agreed by Central Bedfordshire Council.”

The document says football facilities are too poor to be competitive and it is too dangerous to play cricket because of the uneven ground. There is also a lack of floodlighting and an all weather pitch. The lack of a ‘throwing cage’ means the school cannot host athletic competitions.

The consultation will run until Tuesday 20 June and a public meeting will be held in the reception area of the Academy on Wednesday 24 May from 6-8pm.