Call to axe sports from Sheringham centre plan

Sports facilities should be axed from a planned new community at Sheringham following a public consultation say town councillors.

But the money saved on a football pitch and changing rooms at the Tesco-backed building ought to be ploughed into adding floodlighting to a pitch elsewhere in town and equipping the centre.

Just 80 people from the 7,000-strong local population attended a week long consultation session on the plans for the Holway Road site.

But the overwhelming feedback was the lack of parking, absence of a large hall, calls for more toilets and that it should be a community rather than a sports centre reported deputy mayor David Gooch.

So it was suggested dropping an all-weather football pitch and changing rooms, and rejigging the hall interior to create one large hall and four meeting rooms, along with an extra set of toilets on the first floor.

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The changes, including losing a computer suite, would enable the main hall to be used for exercise classes, yoga, dance, badminton, table tennis, short mat bowls and functions.

Mr Gooch said scrapping the pitch would provide more than the planned 19 parking spaces and remove the prospect of having to replace it at a cost of �100,000 in 10 years' time.

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Richard Hewitt suggested the money saved by Tesco - which is building the centre as part of a store plan in town on the site of the current aging Cromer Road centre - could be used to put floodlighting at an existing pitch at the high school,

Councillors agreed to ask the architects to consider the changes and re-channelling the saved money.

But they voted against a suggestion of moving the town council base from its current offices to the new complex.

Some councillors felt the council needed to be based in the town centre, and others said it would not leave enough space at the complex for the main aim of hosting community groups.

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