LONGFIELD School has clarified its position over the sale of playing fields at the site.

The school wanted to set the record straight following inaccurate reports over the sale of the land to housing developers.

It said the fields are to be sold to support a National Lottery bid to develop a tennis centre and the school is working with the Lawn Tennis Association to develop the project.

The work includes indoor and outdoor tennis courts, a fitness suite, dance studio, creche, changing rooms and hospitality facilities for use by pupils and the community.

The area of the playing fields that the school cannot sell because of poor drainage is to be improved so that it can by used by pupils for sport.

Darlington Borough Council is carrying out a three-month consultation exercise into the proposals, which started last month.

The running track at Longfield is not being used because it is in poor repair and needs to be resurfaced but teachers have stressed it has not affected PE at the school.

Residents opposing the plans say the loss of the fields would create a lack of quality outdoor facilities for the school and local clubs. They also argue the planned tennis centre is unnecessary.