School’s footie pitch battle for extra time

Rainhill High School.
Rainhill High School.
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Councillors have approved plans to extend the opening hours of an all-weather football pitches at Rainhill High School.

Many neighbours had hoped the proposal to open the Warrington Road site outside of school term times would be rejected.

They also wanted members of St Helens Council’s planning committee to knock back an application from the school to open up more parking for users.

But headteacher John Pout said the changes approved at last Tuesday night’s meeting would benefit the wider community.

“If we’re opening this facility during the school holidays, and are offering local children an alternative to their computer games, that’s a good thing,” said Mr Pout.

He also pointed out the football pitch, which was finally given planning permission in February eight years after it first went before planners, would not greatly increase visitor numbers.

“If you put it in context, there are already over a 1,000 pupils at the school, plus hundreds of staff,” added Mr Pout. “The maximum number of players on the pitch is 42 at any one time.”

Earlier the meeting heard how Rainhill Parish Council objected to the school’s application to alter its existing planning permission. Residents launched a campaign after the plans were first announced, prompting school chiefs to include the construction of a sound barrier.

g What do you think of the changes to Rainhill High? Let us know your view by writing or email. Address details are on page 8. Or tweet @sthelensreport, with #rainhillhigh