A PRIVATE school has bought 17 acres of land to add to its existing playing fields.

Lucton School, near Leominster, has been granted planning permission for three new pitches and some amenity land suitable for cross country running and equestrian cross country.

In the short term, ahead of the works to terrace the land and incorporate new drainage, the new land may be used by the school's Equestrian Centre for grazing.

The school said growth at Lucton over recent years has led to significant pressure on the previous pitches and a similar issue applies to changing facilities.

In a separate project the school has been given permission to build a gallery alongside the sports hall, incorporating a small gym with two new sets of changing rooms on the ground floor.

Building work is planned to start during the coming academic year.

The chairman of Lucton’s governors, David Llewellin, said he was delighted to see Lucton’s steady growth and said: "During Mrs Thorne’ headship, Lucton School has built a new indoor swimming pool, refurbished the sports hall, bought and developed the adjacent equestrian centre and the latest land acquisition will consolidate Lucton’s position as one of the region’s top sporting venues.

"For the last three years Lucton School has been the venue for the Independent School’s Association Triathlon finals and it hosts its own annual aquathlon and a cross country event that attracts up to 600 runners from 26 schools."