Community campaigners were victorious tonight in their battle to protect three recreational spaces from housing development.

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Land close to Wensum Lodge, in King Street, and Bartram Mowers, off Bluebell Road, were dropped from plans earmarking future property building by Norwich City Council’s Labour cabinet.

And plans for 65 houses at the former Lakenham Sports and Leisure site, in Cricket Ground Road, have also been thrown out, with neighbours now being urged to suggest new sporting ideas for the land.

Bert Bremner, cabinet member for planning and sustainable development, said the Lakenham site was removed to prevent the loss of open space, with Sport England indicating a lack of any alternate sporting services for the area.

Victoria MacDonald, cabinet member and Lakenham councillor, said she was very pleased with the decision.

She told tonight’s cabinet meeting: “We’ve spent an extensive amount of time over the last few months meeting with residents, talking in homes and petitions have been put together, as there’s been significant concerns about the loss of open space in the area.”

The remaining 78 sites, which could be used for more than 3,000 houses and to create jobs between now and 2026, have passed through to the next phase of talks.

Judith Lubbock, Liberal Democrat Eaton councillor, said the decision to drop Bartram Mowers from the list was “extremely good news”.

She said: “This is a very valuable area for recreation and for wildlife and I am delighted it will be there for future generations.

“The weight of public opinion against the site being developed has, I believe, made a difference to the council cabinet’s decision.”

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