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Blow to bid for new sports fields in Weeting

08:00 23 November 2012

Mike Nairn (L to R) Joe Green and Robert Childerhouse who want to turn agricultural land into recreational land for 3 new football pitch for the likes of youngsters Jaydan and Ethan to use, but the RSPB and Natural ENgland have objected. Photograph Simon Parker

Mike Nairn (L to R) Joe Green and Robert Childerhouse who want to turn agricultural land into recreational land for 3 new football pitch for the likes of youngsters Jaydan and Ethan to use, but the RSPB and Natural ENgland have objected. Photograph Simon Parker

Archant

A new sports ground has been recommended for refusal despite objections retracted by the RSPCA and Natural England.

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Weeting Parish Council submitted proposals for three new football pitches on an area of vacant agricultural land on the edge of the village. Breckland officers have now recommended against approval of the application because of its location.

Fears had been raised by the RSPB and Natural England at the affect on nearby stone curlew but the latter said it was reassured after receiving more information and the former believed this could be mitigated with fencing.

A report to go before the council’s planning committee on Monday said: “There is currently no continuous footpath link to the site from the village and therefore there are concerns about safe and convenient access by those not travelling by car to the site. The landowner has offered a permissive footpath as part of the recently approved residential development on the adjacent site however this is not a direct route and there is no indication as to when it would be available for use. It is considered that there is other land within the parish which is better related to the village and further away from the SPA [special protection area].”

Norfolk County Council also raised concerns at pedestrian access, although stopped short at recommending refusal of the plans.

Weeting parish councillor, Robert Childerhouse, said: “Having got there on the bird issue we thought we were going to be recommended for approval. If this is refused the whole thing dies. It’s an Olympic year, we’ve got teams who want to improve and the parish council is trying to do all it can.”

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