HAILSHAM: School awaits playing field compensation

GROVELANDS Primary School is facing a £49,000 loss after High Court bailiffs were unable to track down a building firm which installed a faulty playing field.

The Hailsham primary school, together with East Sussex County Council, is pursuing Buckinghamshire-based contractor SportsLawn Ltd to recoup the money, after an all-weather playing field was not put in properly back in 2007.

Because of drainage problems with the sand and rubber filled pitch, the surface regularly becomes water-logged, preventing the children from using it during the wetter months of the year.

Grovelands Primary Headteacher Julie Claxton said the school was exploring all avenues to repair the faulty pitch.

“We are looking to do what we can to make sure it is viable in the future during this difficult time when money’s tight,” she told the Gazette.

East Sussex County Council’s legal team supported Grovelands in making a successful legal claim against the contractors.

As a result of the legal action SportsLawn Ltd was ordered by the High Court to pay £49,000 to the school on June 29, 2010.

But more than eight months later, The Hailsham school is still waiting to receive the money.

The High Court Bailiffs have been unable to execute the warrant as the defendant company no longer operates from its registered address.

While the firm has not gone into administration, it has not been trading for the last three years and has failed to provide up-to-date accounts to Companies House.

According to the latest balance sheet filed with Companies House in December 2007, Sportslawn Ltd was operating at a loss and had no discernable assets.

SportsLawn company director Malcolm Dorman - who has now set up a new company registered under the name of Dorman Recycled Plastics, based in Haddingham - was unavailable for comment.