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Cricket club’s 10 year wait for new land may go on, chairman fears

PUBLISHED: 13:05 08 January 2020 | UPDATED: 13:41 09 January 2020

Fakenham Cricket Club Chairman Martin Turner. Picture: Martin Turner

Fakenham Cricket Club Chairman Martin Turner. Picture: Martin Turner

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The chairmen of a Norfolk cricket club meets with Norfolk County Councillors as land consulation over SEND school continues.

Cabinet Member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, Cllr John Fisher. Photo: Broadland District CouncilCabinet Member for Children's Services at Norfolk County Council, Cllr John Fisher. Photo: Broadland District Council

A cricket club chairman fears its 10 year wait for new land could go on after hopes were raised that a new school would provide a solution.

Fakenham Cricket Club is trying to secure an extension to their ground off Field Lane, to increase the size of its pavilion and provide better facilities for its members.

The club hopes plans to build a new SEND (special educational needs and disabilities) school next door, will not stop them securing the land it needs for the long-awaited expansion to take place.

The club is asking Norfolk County Council if an area of land at the proposed site for the school can be given to them for expansion.

Fakenham Cricket Club secretary Kevin Webb by the land he hopes the club will be able to use PICTURE: Matthew FarmerFakenham Cricket Club secretary Kevin Webb by the land he hopes the club will be able to use PICTURE: Matthew Farmer

But Martin Turner, club chairman, said he was not optimistic about the request being met after meeting Norfolk County Council representatives at the proposed site on Monday.

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Mr Turner, along with secretary, Kevin Webb, met with cabinet member for children's services, John Fisher and county council sufficiency delivery manager, Isabel Horner.

Mr Turner and Mr Webb put their plan to the council, but Mr Turner said he was not confident about the chances of the club's project advancing.

The Wensum Centre at Fakenham Cricket Club. Picture: Ian BurtThe Wensum Centre at Fakenham Cricket Club. Picture: Ian Burt

He said: "Obviously, the school comes first, and I am pretty sure the school will go ahead. But I'm not overly optimistic about our chances.

"We don't have a problem with the relationship with any council, county, district or local. It is just a shame that it has taken this long to get any decision that we need, and we have been hanging on for over 10 years at financial cost to the club."

When asked if Norfolk County Council would once again leave the club waiting on an answer, Mr Fisher said: "I can't discuss anything about the history of the cricket club that is way before my time, and it may have been unfortunate - what happened 10 years ago wasn't a satisfactory conclusion. But, we will start with a fresh piece of paper.

"We always try to work with local people, we are always open to discussions and have today been talking with representatives from the cricket club and taken on board some of the comments and we will get back to them."

Mr Fisher did not rule out the chance that the cricket club could get some land.

He said: "We will look at everything we can do. But we don't rule anything out, and we don't rule anything in. But if we can be of assistance, we will be of assistance."


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