AN APPLICATION to increase the height of the fence around a long-awaited all-weather sports pitch at Okehampton’s second primary school has been submitted to West Devon Borough Council.

The application, 0664/23/VAR, is a variation to a planning permission already granted for the pitch at St James Church of England Primary School.

It proposes increasing the height of the fence from 1.8 metres to 2.4 metres with the fence to be fitted with a privacy mesh.

The proposal also includes a ‘hit and miss’ fence at the top of the north west bank closest to the residential development next door, Romansfield. This apparently would stop balls from games heading over into the nextdoor gardens. Further planting on top of the banks is also proposed..

Planning consultant Tim Capps, of Oxenham Consult, representing applicants the Dartmoor Multi Academy Trust, said: ‘This proposal offers minor adaptions of the original scheme to address concerns of privacy for both neighbours and pupils whilst addressing any construction limitations inherited within the site.’

The alteration follows residents’ concerns that the artificial pitch height had increased, apparently due to earth being deposited there by a contractor during the delay to build the pitch.

The pitch is considered vital to allow children at the primary school, which opened in 2018, somewhere to exercise all year round. It was originally granted planning permission in November 2019.

The 420-place primary school is being built in two phases. Comments to be submitted to planning authority West Devon Borough Council by April 6.

Also among plans this week is an application for retrospective planning permission for a sand school to use to exercise horses (0460/23/FUL) on agricultural land at Higher Warracott in Chillaton.

Applicant Lynda Garrad said in a statement that she was applying for retrospective permission for the sand school which was already in place when she bought her property in May last year. It measures 28 metres by 12.5 metres.

She said: ‘The area that has been turned into a sand school was already a flat area being used for building material storage for the development of Warracott Barns totalling 13 properties. When the previous owners purchased Highfield Warracott, they laid sand on the top of this hardstanding area and fenced it in post and rail fencing. I would also like to have a change of use from agricultural use to equestrian use.’

Comments are invited on the application via the WDBC website by April 6.