October 24 2014 Latest news:
Thursday, October 4, 2012
Council officials will continue to monitor a football car park at the former home of Norfolk cricket – despite deciding enforcement action is not justified.
Norwich City and visiting football supporters have been offered spaces at the former Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre, in Cricket Ground Road, for £3 in recent weeks.
Signs directing fans to the car park have lined the roadside from County Hall, in Martineau Lane, which charges £6 per vehicle, on match days.
This led to Norwich City Council investigating whether the land could be used for this service under its current planning conditions.
Landowner SPC Group said it was not operating the car park and did not believe planning regulations were being broken if one was run on the land.
A city council spokeswoman said: “We have investigated this matter and have decided that, at present, enforcement action is not justified. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
Patrick Manning, city councillor for Lakenham, said the community is “generally not happy” with the car park, with concerns raised about how traffic will be controlled if it proves popular.
He said: “My understanding of the council decision is car parking on there is using parking facilities rather than parking on the grass. They are not doing too much different from when it was open for people to use as a sports centre and tennis courts.
“Questions of traffic management have come to the fore. My understanding is the council has made enquiries of the owner over what his plans will be if it takes off and he’s not yet responded. Those living closest to the ground are most affected. It’s a question of watch this space.”
SPC wants to build houses, plus provide more than two acres of open space, at the former cricket ground. But the land was removed off the council’s future house building plans in July.
Andre Serruys, SPC chairman, previously said they were not operating the car park and their “aspirations for the site are clear”.