Campaigners put forward alternative plans for Pinebanks site in Thorpe St Andrew, as council blunder sees decision postponed

PUBLISHED: 06:30 11 September 2012 | UPDATED: 09:07 11 September 2012

The recommendation from Thorpe Town Council over the future of the site will now be made on September 24.

The recommendation from Thorpe Town Council over the future of the site will now be made on September 24.

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Campaigners battling a bid to build new homes at a former sports club have put forward their alternative plans for the site.

Developers Ocubis want to build around 200 new homes at Pinebanks in Thorpe St Andrew and a further 50, along with new sporting facilities, at nearby Griffin Lane.

But the Friends of Thorpe St Andrew are opposing the application, and want more sports facilities at the abandoned site.

Mike Riches from the Friends said: “As far as we are concerned the replacement sports facilities proposed by Ocubis do not replace a fraction of what was lost with the closure of Pinebanks.”

The Pinebanks plans were discussed at a meeting of Thorpe Town Council last night, but due to a blunder, no decision could be made over whether to recommend the applications for approval or rejection.

Around one hour into the meeting, it emerged that the application for the Griffin Lane development, for 52 homes, had been accidentally left off the agenda, and therefore no decision could be made.

Chair of the town council, John Fisher, told the meeting: “I offer my sincere apologies to the fact that we have had an error on the agenda. I am as much to blame as anybody. I should have checked the agenda.”

With the Griffin Lane application missed off the agenda, the Pinebanks application, which is linked to Griffin Lane, was put back to September 24, when both the applications will be discussed again.

The developers plans have housing on Pinebanks, with more community facilities on the Griffin Lane site.

But Mr Riches said: “We’ve asked the council to consider our proposal as an alternative to allowing such a large-scale housing development on the Pinebanks land and we’ve offered to work with the council to obtain funding for the sport and leisure facilities outlined.”

The group said they want a new, single-storey building to go on the site, with a sports hall, courts and pitches, costing around £3.2m.

Do you have a story about Thorpe St Andrew for the Evening News? Contact David Freezer on 01603772418 or email david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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