Campaigners vow to fight appeal after planners reject house proposals for former Norfolk cricket home
12:00 15 February 2013
Proposals to build 75 properties on the former home of Norfolk cricket have been refused - with campaigners vowing to fight an appeal.
Norwich City Council’s planning committee voted 11 votes to one in favour of refusal of plans for land off Carshalton Road, Lakenham, yesterday.
Applicant Serruys Property Company (SPC) is to appeal the decision on the project, which also included a football pitch, allotments and a children’s playground on land closed since 2007.
Council officers will draw up a list of reasons explaining the committee’s reasons for refusal.
They include the loss of the Colman family-built pavilion and lack of open space being offered off-site to compensate for the loss of green space. SPC had agreed to a council request to provide £80,000 for improvements and maintenance of tennis courts at Lakenham recreation ground.
Terry Dunning, chairman of the Lakenham Cricket Ground Residents’ Association, said he was delighted but well aware further action will be required, including against the applicant’s appeal.
He said: “We will look at the council’s reasons for turning it down carefully and come to some conclusions as to whether they fulfil our aims. The residents’ committee has put deciding alternatives on hold. We will call a public meeting to discuss the kind of alternatives we want. As an individual, I’d like to see no housing and the land preserved as a recreation area.”
Secretary of the association Julie Ann Moore, of Cricket Ground Road, said of Mr Dunning’s suggestion: “We believe that is what Jeremiah Colman wanted it to be.”
The opponents who spoke at the meeting told of their concerns, which included the proposed demolition of the 1930s-era thatched pavilion, the number of houses, traffic access to the site and replacement sports facilities.
Angie Woodman, of Cricket Ground Road, said: “Planning applications have been submitted repeatedly. After all this time there’s now an outline planning application. The devil is in the detail.”
Shaun Wright, also of Cricket Ground Road, added: “After all these years of [the applicant] running a leisure centre, this plan is they best the can come up for this ground?”
Philip Atkinson, of SPC’s planning agent Lanpro, confirmed an appeal will be made and believes it has a reasonable chance of success.
He said of the decision: “It’s not unexpected. We are going to appeal. The appeal will be heard on the reasons for refusal, which are covered in the committee report.”
Stephen Little, Green Party Town Close councillor, voted against refusing the plan.