Sheringham Community Centre, before its demolition.  PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Tesco wins bid to remove sports pitch from Sheringham plans

Friday, December 14, 2012
8.15 AM

A controversial bid by Tesco to remove its commitment to provide a new sports pitch in Sheringham has been approved by planning chiefs.

The supermarket giant has agreed to pay £60,000 for the provision of additional sports facilities in Sheringham in lieu of the replacement pitch.

Tesco received permission to demolish a community centre and remove the adjacent playing pitch to a make way for a new supermarket in Cromer Road on the condition it provided a replacement community centre and sports pitch in Holway Road before demolition work began.

The new community centre is almost ready to be handed over but changes to the plans following discussion with Sheringham Town Council mean the space originally earmarked for the sports pitch has been used for overflow parking for the centre.

Tesco applied to North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) to delete the planning obligation to provide a replacement pitch and has instead offered to pay £60,000 towards the provision of sports facilities in Sheringham.

In the application to remove the playing pitch obligation, Tesco said the amendment reflected the “express requirements of the town council”, which had “made it clear that there was no longer a community need or requirement for a playing pitch”.

The town council initially objected to removing the obligation but has now agreed to accept the money in lieu of the sports pitch on the condition it is paid before demolition work begins.

The town council will have three years to decided how to spend the cash. Options include a contribution to the floodlights at Sheringham High School and a contribution to improvements to the recreation ground off Weybourne Road.

NNDC received 23 objections to the variation of the planning condition, which included that Tesco should be “held to account”, that sports facilities were needed in the town, that there were six youth football teams without a pitch, and that the move looked wrong in the year of the Olympics.

The application to amend it was approved by NNDC ‘s development committee on Thursday, December 13.