Charity suffers blow in bid for sports village on Anglian Windows site on edge of Norwich
A charity's hopes of creating a community sports village on the edge of Norwich have been dealt a blow - because other organisations are keen on the site.
The Norwich City Community Sports Foundation wants to establish the hub, including sports pitches and indoor arenas, at land off Holt Road, near Horsford, currently leased by Anglian Windows.
The charity, which uses sport to help more than 20,000 people every year, has been in talks with Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council about buying the land.
It had hoped the council would agree to sell the land directly.
But, at a meeting of the county council's policy and resources committee yesterday, councillors decided on a different course of action.
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Councillors heard that Hellesdon Parish Council wanted the opportunity to buy the site, while at least two other sporting organisations had expressed an interest.
Labour's Mick Castle said it should be sold to the foundation as they had a 'track record' and 'we know they would deliver'.
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However, after a tied vote of eight in favour of selling to the foundation and eight against, the committee decided, on the casting vote of council leader Cliff Jordan, to market the site and invite bids to develop the land for recreation.
Mr Jordan said: 'I am trying to be fair and this is public property. If we put it on the market the highest bid wins it. That's how I think it should be done.'
Before the debate, councillors heard a presentation from the sports foundation, with chairman Paul Knowles highlighting how the charity needed to expand.
• What do you think of the decision? Write, giving full contact details, to Letters Editor, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE or email EDPletters@archant.co.uk