A bid to revamp a town's artificial grass pitch has been met with backlash from a national sporting body which fears it will prioritise football over other sports. 

Officers have recommended that plans to refurbish the 3G pitch at Breckland Leisure Centre in Croxton Road, Thetford are approved.

The project will replace the artificial grass pitch while also creating perimeter fencing 6m high in some places, hardstanding viewing areas and replacement floodlights.

Eastern Daily Press: Breckland Leisure Centre in ThetfordBreckland Leisure Centre in Thetford (Image: Newsquest)

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But Sport England has objected to the scheme, arguing it would lead to the loss of land and prejudice the use of the playing field - benefiting footballers at the expense of other users of the pitch and surrounding area, such as hockey teams.

Locals have said sections of grass around the artificial pitch are currently used by children having a "knockabout" and fear the revamp will take this away.

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People also worry the perimeter fencing could block off a walking and cycling route next to the pitch.

Breckland Council members will decide on the application at a planning meeting next week.

However, if Sport England continues to object, the proposal will have to go before the Planning Inspectorate who will then make the final decision.