Former Lakenham cricket pavilion looks set for demolition

Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre - formerly the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion - looks set for demolition. Photo: Nick Butcher. Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre - formerly the Lakenham Cricket Pavilion - looks set for demolition. Photo: Nick Butcher.

Dan Grimmer dan.grimmer@archant.co.uk
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
6:30 AM

Work to knock down one of Norwich’s former sporting landmarks could get under way within weeks.

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Norwich City Council’s planning committee last year turned down plans for the old Lakenham Sports and Social Club site – once the home of Norfolk cricket.

Serruys Property Company, which wanted to build 75 homes on the land off Carshalton Road appealed against the decision.

A planning inspector last year allowed that appeal and granted permission.

The reasons given by the council in turning down the application were that the loss of the former cricket pavilion would be “detrimental” to the “local distinctiveness” of Lakenham, that there was not adequate compensation for the loss of open space and that it was likely to increase traffic.

But planning inspector Tim Wood said: “Although some opinions expressed state that the building is pleasing and of some merit, I consider that it does not display any particular aesthetic qualities, but agree that it stands out in the local area as it is different to other buildings.

“There is no suggestion that the pavilion played any significant part in the history of county cricket and whilst I can understand that a fan of cricket may feel some attachment to a familiar ground and pavilion, this does not bestow historic significance on the building.”

And now, Hopkins Homes – which will build the new houses – has informed Norwich City Council it wants to start demolition, including the pavilion.

The company has applied to Norwich City Council to check whether “prior approval” is needed for the method of demolition.

In documents lodged with City Hall, Hopkins Homes states that it hopes to start demolition this Friday, with the work set to last six months.
It will be up to the council to decide whether prior approval is needed, or if the developers can just go ahead.

The redevelopment will also feature allotments, a playground and a five-a-side pitch.

Campaigners had tried to save 
the pavilion, while Stephen Fry
 took to Twitter to say that knocking down the pavilion was ‘sacrilege’.

What do you think about the plans? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE.

12 comments

  • agree with 21.... i would have thought a decent property development company could see opportunity in renovation to make it into a couple of houses. i am sure this development is for private dwellings so that would have added value. What an earth do they think a 5 a side football pitch will do...... draw attention create a hang-about area for those with nothing else to do but create noise and potential trouble. so both topics just lower the quality of the site. having been a Lakenham lad in the 60's and 70's i remember well some great times on the cricket ground. A great place with great playing surface now in the hands of a bunch of dinasaurs!

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    JB

    Friday, August 29, 2014

  • Inevitable these days that the Planning Inspectorate will allow development to go ahead against the decision made by democratically elected councilors. Does not matter which political party it is either. Any development here would be better with a restored pavilion - which will be an improvement on the sorry looking building a short walk from County Hall. It is important in the history of Norfolk cricket but that does not matter to the person or inspector making the decision apparently.

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    Capri

    Thursday, August 28, 2014

  • And what about the Colman family name that did so much for the prosperity of Norwich and still does. It is shameful that developers are allowed to destroy what ever happens to be in their way.

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    Julie Ann

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • So frustrating when planners and protesters would rather see a building rotting away over many years, rather than getting on with developing a site. The old ironmongers shop on Unthank Rd is a case in point. Someone wanted to redevelop it, Greens objected and it's still derelict and rotting away!

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    JSmith

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Absolutly no reason why it can't be restored and converted into house or some other usefull use. It would be unquie to have it looking onto the new hopkins homes or is norwich going to become a new tin can round house park?

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    21

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Totally agree with the too last coments, I did write something along these lines but archant must be getting a payoff to stop my constructive posts being posted. Of course it played a role in county cricket. Who the hells says it dosen't do they even no what they are talking about????

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    21

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Could it not have turned into a community centre of pubrestaurant ...... or would that have been less profit for the developer and set a precedent for looking after residents?

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    PeterM

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • "There is no suggestion that the pavilion played any significant part in the history of county cricket." Only someone who knows nothing about Norfolk cricket could make this comment. The way the whole ground has been allowed to rot is terrible. The old twin towers at Wembley were not everybody's idea of aesthetic beauty, but they were an iconic landmark before being bulldozed to make way for the current bland stadium, which looks like a huge child's car seat.

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    Outside The Box

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Just how low-grade are the council's standards, of course the building will look ugly, its been left this long to deterioiate on purpose to make it easier to cast it off as an eysore, a tactic employed by developers and money hungry council operatives all the time. Im sure that the building could be restored and converted into a private house looking onto the new development. For it to be just knocked down and for the majority of the site replaced with standard hopkins homes which in truth are as solid as a paper window. If this can be allowed then City Hall can be demolished as that is an eyesore and looks dirty and turn it all into public gardens.

    123874152

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    21

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • The old pavilion is ugly and wouldn't fit in to an area of new houses but it is still a sad day when many years of history and memories are demolished. What has happened to all the pictures inside?

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    Gazza

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • Firstly, the old pavilion may be different FROM (not TO) others in the area but it's not a pretty building. In fact it is rather ugly, very little to commend it. Demolition is probably the best thing for it .. no way will it fit in with Hopkins Homes style. Don't waste time discussing it any longer ..

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    Patrick

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

  • I expect it would have "went on fire" anyway. LoL

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    marty r

    Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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