Public urged to have say on future of Lakenham sports ground

Families have been urged to attend a meeting to discuss revived plans for homes at a former Norwich sports centre.

Initial proposals to build more than 80 homes at the former Lakenham Sports and Leisure Centre site were put forward last December, but met opposition from families living nearby.

The proposals, coming after the site had stood empty for more than three years, also included the possibility of a sports centre or a care centre on part of the site.

Scrap metal entrepreneur Andre Serruys had been consulting with families over his plans for the Cricket Ground Road site.

But families raised concerns over the loss of public open space and Norwich City Council removed the scheme from its site allocations plan – which is a blueprint for where development will be allowed around Norwich in the future.

However, revised proposals have been put forward for the site and the city council is asking whether they should be included in that development blueprint.

The new scheme does not include a sports centre or care centre, but would see a minimum of 65 homes on the northern part of the site and public open space to the south – probably allotments.

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A public meeting over the new proposals will be held at Lakenham Primary School, in City Road, from 7pm tomorrow (Thursday), where planning officers will explain why the scheme has come back to the table.

Norwich South MP Simon Wright, who has urged people to have their say on the proposals, was due to attend the meeting, but looks likely to miss out now that Parliament has been recalled because of the riots in London and other parts of the country.

Victoria MacDonald, Labour city councillor for Lakenham, said she and her ward colleague Keith Driver were opposed to any plans to build on the cricket ground.

She said: 'I can see no advantage at all in these proposals. Roads in the area already suffer from too much traffic and lack of parking spaces. The area around the cricket ground is unique and we want it to stay that way.'

• Are you fighting to stop development where you live? Call Evening News reporter Dan Grimmer on 01603 772375 or email