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PARENTS at the Heights Primary School are pushing for support for its new site, despite residents' campaigning against it.

The school first sparked controversy last year when it was revealed Mapledurham Playing Fields, a green belt site, would become its permanent location.

For the first time parents have come forward to urge the community to stop campaigning against the new site, and support their children's need for in-catchment education.

Despite the current location, two miles away from the catchment area in Caversham Heights, the school has prospered, achieving an 'Outstanding' Ofsted rating in its first inspection.

An offer of a £1.36m investment was offered to the school by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) in addition to the build costs of the site.

Reading Borough Council has opened its final consultation and parents are keen to stress the benefits of building the school in less than 5 per cent of the recreation grounds.

Rebecca Leach, parent, said: “We urge all residents to have their say in the upcoming consultation on the EFA's proposal.

“As well as securing a permanent site for the Heights school, the proposal brings a significant investment of £1.36m to be spent on Mapledurham Playing Fields.

“In the current climate, a cash investment of this kind from central Government is unheard of.

“It will completely transform the neglected facilities at the playing fields, bringing real recreational benefits for the whole community.”

Adrian Pattison, also a parent, added: “The Heights school has already proved itself to be Outstanding, and has at its heart a strong focus on community and charitable giving.

“Mapledurham Playing Fields are crying out for investment and the EFA’s proposal will turn this under-used space into a real community hub.

“It is clear that the school is an incredible asset for everyone in Caversham Heights, and granting it a permanent home on the playing fields will reap rewards for generations to come.”

The consultation, which began Monday, July 10, can be found on the council's website and will close in September.

Councillor Deborah Edwards, chair of the Mapledurham Playing Fields Trustees sub-committee, said: “Reading Borough Council acts as trustee of the Recreation Ground Charity at Mapledurham and the beneficiaries of the Charity are the residents of the Parish of Mapledurham and Reading Borough.

!As trustee, the Council is asking both sets of residents for their comments on the two proposals that have been received.

 “This consultation takes place in the context of the Education Funding Agency identifying part of Mapledurham Playing Fields as its preferred location for the new Heights Primary School.

"However, the consultation itself focuses on which of the two proposals could provide the most benefit to residents in terms of future leisure provision on Mapledurham Playing Fields. I would urge as many residents of Mapledurham Parish and Reading Borough to take some time to have their say.”