COUNCILLORS will be asked to approve plans to improve a secondary school's sports facilities.

North East Learning Trust wants to build a new multi use games area at Teesdale School, in Barnard Castle.

The proposed MUGA would be put on the site of existing hard-surfaced tennis and basketball courts, which are on the playing fields to north of the school complex.

The 35.4m x 36.5m building would protrude onto the existing grassed area by 3.6m and have a maximum height of 11.4m. It would contain two playing courts demarked for a range of sports and have internal lighting.

The application, submitted to Durham County Council, states: "The facility will be used primarily by the school during the day time, but the aim would be not to restrict the use to these hours as some sports will be played after school.

"The applicant is North East Learning Trust and they are committed to providing education to a number of schools across the North of England. As part of this the Trust has invested heavily into creating new facilities and staff to make the school environment better and more enjoyable."

Other work to the remaining tennis courts– including ball catch fencing, lighting bollards and footpath resurfacing–is planned but is classes as permitted development.

Barnard Castle Town Council supports the scheme, along with one resident who wrote to the authority to welcome the provision of new sports facilities.

Officers will recommend approval by the area planning committee (south and west) when it meets at Spennymoor, on Thursday.