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Bake Off star Prue Leith objects to school’s plan for a hockey field

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Bake Off star Prue Leith objects to the preparatory school’s plan for a hockey pitch and playing field near her Cotswolds home, arguing it would be ‘an absolute crime’ to ‘destroy’ the area

  • Prue Leith objected to the school’s plan to install a hockey field and playing field
  • Star expressed concern about the site’s heritage and its effect on the local population
  • Playfield proposal submitted this year by Kitebrook Preparatory School










Bake Off’s Prue Leith has objected to a school’s plan to install a hockey field and playing field in the area, arguing that the proposed site would be “destroyed” if the schedule is approved.

The TV judge, 81, has filed a second objection to plans for a 49-foot floodlight hockey field at Kitebrook Preparatory School, in Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, a stone’s throw from her Cotswolds home.

She has expressed concern about the site’s heritage and is trying to block proposals that the school says will “increase grassroots sport development.”

The Bake Off star initially objected to the proposals in June, but since then subsequently, the proposals continued to elicit critical responses on the West Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) planning portal.

Bake Off star Prue Leith (pictured with her husband John Playfair at their home) has objected to Kitebrook Preparatory School’s plan to build a hockey field and playing field in the area

The school has proposed to build both a hockey field and a playing field with 15 meters high floodlights

The school has proposed to build both a hockey field and a playing field with 15 meters high floodlights

In her second objection comment, Ms Leith said: ‘I have since discovered that the proposed site is an old ridge and forecourt which would be destroyed if the planning were allowed.

‘We are extremely lucky to be one of the few places in England with beautiful ridges and furrows dating back to medieval times.

“It would be not only a disgrace, but an absolute crime to destroy a stretch of ridge and furrow, let alone a huge field.

“I live about a quarter of a mile from the proposed playing fields and while I understand the need for children’s sports facilities, despite the changes to the original plan, I think the proposed development is far too large.”

Ms Leith said the ‘main issue’ would be ‘rainwater runoff’.

She added that her country was already suffering from frequent flooding and that it “cannot handle any more water.”

Ms Leith’s comment added: ‘Grass would not be a problem, or artificial grass laid on a permeable surface, but an all-weather surface of such dimensions is unreasonable.

Kitebrook Preparatory School (pictured), in Moreton-in-Marsh, says the hockey pitch and playing fields 'will enhance sports development at the grassroots'

Kitebrook Preparatory School (pictured), in Moreton-in-Marsh, says the hockey pitch and playing fields ‘will enhance sports development at the grassroots’

In her second objection, Ms Leith said the proposed site, an old ridge and foreveld, will be 'destroyed' if the plans go through

In her second objection, Ms Leith said the proposed site, an old ridge and foreveld, will be ‘destroyed’ if the plans go through

‘Why does the school then need several large fields? Prep school kids can’t play on big fields.’

‘One of the joys of living in a rural environment is the dark night sky, so I was pleased to see that the proposed stadium lighting is not there.

“But is there anything to prevent the school from adding the lights later? Who would check that?’

Since Ms Leith’s original objection comment, Evenlode Parish Council has also objected in a consulted comment.

The council commented: ‘The proposals will have a negative impact on this village in the form of flooding from the runoff which will generate an artificial landscape.

‘The proposals show no greater benefit for the specific rural economy in the area.’

Tara Hayek, senior conservation and design officer at the WODC, had no objection in her comment.

The comment read: ‘The scheme, including design, materials etc. are appropriate and the applicant has taken into account the current landscape character and environment of the heritage, working with the existing terrain and contours to ensure that views and settings be preserved so that the facility blends in with its environment.’

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