Tesco changes Sheringham community centre plans after pressure from public

Store giant Tesco has changed its mind on the design of a community centre after Sheringham residents asked for a football pitch to be kicked out.

The firm has made significant changes to the plans for the old Hilbre School site on Holway Road as it puts the pieces in place that will result in a supermarket opening on Cromer Road in 2013.

In March, Tesco had plans passed by North Norfolk District Council for the community centre, which will replace the existing centre on Cromer Road.

They included a five-a-side pitch and changing. But, following public consultation and town council comments that showed people wanted it to be community, not sports-focused, Tesco has put in a new application.

The new proposal sees the building turned around slightly, and the football pitch area turned into a 50-50 split of car park and grassed area.

At Tuesday evening's town council planning committee, the members agreed unanimously to support the amended application.

Chairman Mac McGinn said: 'This is exactly the planning application that we suggested.'

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Louise Gosling from Tesco said: 'We had our original set of plans approved by the committee, but when we spoke to the residents of Sheringham they made it clear that they wanted some changes.

'We want to listen to the public to make this what they want, and have revised the plans. It's going to be for them, and we wanted them to have direct input into what's built.'

She added: 'The building will be turned around slightly. Where the pitch was, half of it will be car parking and half a grassed area.'

She said the delay did not affect the overall scheme, which was 'still on target', adding: 'The existing building on Holway Road should be demolished in the next week or two.'

At the town council planning committee, members also received plans from Norfolk County Council for the re-design of the junction on Holway Road to accommodate the new community centre.

They heard that it included a new pedestrian crossing and the closing off of one end of the existing layby.

The designs were supported by the committee.

Last month, a significant step was taken in the 13-year Sheringham Tesco saga, when demolition work began on the Cromer Road house that will make way for a new fire station.

The station, opposite the existing facility, is being provided by Tesco as part of the deal that saw it win the right to establish a store on the other side of the road.

The existing fire station will be demolished, along with the neighbouring community centre.

The new fire station and community centre are expected to be finished by late spring 2012, at which point work will start on the supermarket where the two facilities stood.