Our Big Outdoors

September 2017

We write with an exciting update on our Big Outdoors planning application for a floodlit, short pile, artificial turf sports pitch for school use.   Parents will recall that although TMBC approved our planning application in the summer term the decision of the planners had to be referred to the Secretary of State before the planning permission could be granted.  We are delighted to report that over the summer holidays the Secretary of State confirmed there is no requirement to ‘call in’ the application for further review.  As a result our planning permission is now fully confirmed.  Having cleared this final hurdle the School is now free to progress our plans to build our all-weather pitch.  We want to get started on this straight away so that students will benefit this year from the new and enhanced facilities.  The contract is in the final stages of completion and we expect the work to begin on site shortly.  In addition to the all-weather pitch, our grass pitch areas will benefit from drainage improvements and re-seeding which means that all of our outdoor sports facilities will be significantly enhanced.
 
We expect the new pitch to be finished within six months.  As some work is weather dependent we are hopeful of a dry and mild winter so there is no delay in completion.  During the construction there will inevitably be significant restrictions to the extent of outdoor space for PE lessons and co-curricular activities.  The PE team are already looking at how to manage this short term reduction in sports facilities at TGS and keep disruption to a minimum.  We will write to you with more detail on the temporary changes to our sports arrangements once the contract has been finalised and we know the start date for the works.
 
Securing an artificial turf sports pitch for school use has been a genuine aspiration of the School for over a decade.  The enhanced facilities will bring increased opportunity and access to team sports at TGS for students now and for generations of students to follow.  The Governors and staff of the School are very grateful to all parents and friends of TGS who have supported us on the long journey to realising our goal through fundraising and adding your voice to the planning consultation process.  Thank you.
 
Yours sincerely
 
Rosemary Joyce                                               Sally Dyson
Head Teacher                                                    Chair of Governors