FEARS a school playing field could be sold off for housing have been quashed.

Concern was spreading among parents and residents after plans to sell Hadleigh Junior School’s field, and neighbouring land, for a major housing project were mooted.

Councillors and residents, as well as representatives from the school, council and the Challenger Multi Academy Trust, which runs the school, attended a meeting this week, after residents launched a petition.

It stated a large part of the school field could be sold with plans for upwards of 55 houses, with a floodlit 4G football pitch being to be lodged.

But the trust has now gone back to the drawing board, stating just 0.84 acres of the field would be sold - a small strip at the edge of the site neighbouring Scrub Lane.

A spokesman for the trust said: “The trust has been working in partnership with Essex County Council to jointly dispose of surplus land in Scrub Lane, Hadleigh, which has been allocated for residential purposes in Castle Point’s Local Plan since 1998.

“The site in question consists of 3.77 acres. 2.93 acres of this is owned by [Essex County Council] and is currently open grassland. 0.84 acres is a very small strip of the current Hadleigh Junior School playing field.

“The development of the land for residential use will provide new housing and enable investment in education facilities at Hadleigh Junior School. Plans however, remain subject to further discussions.

“Any receipt from a sale due to our trust would be reinvested in the Hadleigh Junior site. This reinvestment would include some fantastic new sporting facilities for children as well as investment in the school’s buildings.”