December 7 2013 Latest news:
Friday, August 16, 2013
Legendary cricket commentator Henry ‘ Blowers’ Blofeld is backing a bid to save one of Norwich’s sporting landmarks – Lakenham cricket pavilion.
A two-day public inquiry ended yesterday into whether Norwich City Council was right to turn down plans to knock down the pavilion and build 75 homes on the land, off Carshalton Road in Lakenham.
City councillors decided in February to turn down the plans, lodged by Serruys Property Company, for the old cricket ground site, once the home of Norfolk cricket.
The company subsequently appealed.
Mr Blofeld, a Test Match Special favourite, who grew up in Hoveton and wrote a lament for a national newspaper on the last day of cricket in Lakenham in 2000, told the 120-strong Lakenham Cricket Ground Residents’ Association, which wants the pavilion to be saved, that he would be delighted to add his name to the campaign to save the landmark.
He added: “It would be appalling if those development plans went ahead. The Lakenham pavilion should, of course, be preserved.”
The hearing at City Hall was told that, as well as its significance as the former home of Norfolk’s county cricket team, it was constructed as a memorial to Captain Geoffrey Colman, of the city’s famous mustard-making Colman family.
But Trevor Ivory, from lawyers Howes Percival, representing Serruys Property Company, questioned that argument, given English Heritage had not listed the building, and the council’s own officers had initially recommended the demolition be approved.
With its plans also including a five-a-side football pitch and allotments, plus offering a sum to improve nearby tennis courts, the company argued it is providing open space and sporting facilities.
But council officers said the benefits did not outweigh the loss.
The inquiry was yesterday given figures for both the Norwich Policy Area – which includes part of Broadland and South Norfolk councils – and Norwich City Council, which showed that both were under-delivering the number of new houses needed in the area.
But Graham Nelson, the city council’s head of planning, argued that the figures did not represent a “persistent” under-delivery. The planning inspector will now make a recommendation to the secretary of state as to whether to allow planning permission.