Parents pay up to keep school field
Donations ensure Thorpe House can thwart interested developers
PARENTS and pupils are celebrating after the future of their school’s playing fields was secured.
Thorpe House School, in Gerrards Cross, has bought the land which contains its playing fields to safeguard against bids from property developers.
The deal was made possible after parents donated cash to the school to help fund the purchase of the land. They also held fundraising events such as a sponsored camp out on the playing field, school fetes and an artshow with works created by pupils.
The school also contributed towards buying the land from the private landowner.
The school and parents have declined to say how much was paid for the land or what proportion was paid by parents.
The private school charges fees of up to £4,635 per term.
The fields will now be able to be used by pupils for generations to come and are also available for the community to use outside of school hours.
The future of the fields was thrown into doubt two years ago when Kingscote School, in Oval Way, merged with nearby Thorpe House School, following an agreement for the two sites to operate together.
As part of the deal, half of the Kingscote site was put up for sale by the private landowner, including part of the school playing field site.
Parents set up an action group in order to stop property developers buying the site, and managed to get the site included in the Chalfont St Peter Neighbourhood Plan, a document which safeguards against inappropriate development.
Founding member of the action group, Victoria Dover, of Austenwood Lane, said: “This is fantastic news and it’s taken a lot of work to get to this point. “We are all really pleased. “It was a worrying situation at one point, but it means that the fields will be there for the school to use and that developers can’t build on them.
“It’s also good news for the community as well, because different groups will be able to use the fields, so we’re really pleased to have got this result.
“The field is an integral part of the Gerrards Cross landscape and will remain so for years to come.”