Doubts voiced on likelihood of new Cromer sports hub

The district council is proposing to purchase the former golf practice ground on Overstrand Road in

The district council is proposing to purchase the former golf practice ground on Overstrand Road in Cromer as the new home of Cromer Football Club. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

An ambitious plan to create a new community sports hub at a former golf practice ground on the edge of Cromer looks set to be abandoned.

North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) leaders had approved the purchase of the land in May. It had been earmarked to provide a base for the town's adult and youth football teams. Now the authority has been accused of a 'breach of promise' following claims that the sports facility will not be built.

The club had been set to move to the new ground from its Cabbell Park base.

General manager Les Frary said: 'We were told in a meeting with the council several weeks ago that because of a number of issues it would not be buying the land.

'An open space designation was removed on Cabbell Park on the understanding that the council would provide the Overstrand Road site as an alternative. If this not going to happen it is a breach of promise.'

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'No other suitable locations are available in Cromer and we are already struggling to sign new players. They are aware of the club's situation and don't know how long we will be here.'

NNDC had announced a deal allowing the club, one of Cromer's oldest institutions, to remain at the ground for a further three years while the football facility was built.

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Planning permission was granted for a new £3.5m medical centre at Cabbell Park in August, with funds from the sale of part of the site earmarked for the new sports hub.

Cromer Town Council is now seeking for Cabbell Park to be listed as an asset of community value in a bid to ensure the football club can stay there.

Mayor Tim Adams said: 'The community asset application is an insurance policy if the football club does not find another location to play and would provide an extra layer of protection against a change of use of the site.'

The application will have to be considered by NNDC within the next few weeks.

NNDC leader Tom FitzPatrick said: 'We are working closely with the Cromer Town Football Club and looking to realign the pitch and relocate the floodlights shortly at Cabbell Park.

'We are committed to providing improved sports facilities in Cromer. Our long-term plans remain unchanged and we are continuing to explore all sites that offer the best possible options for a community outdoor sports facility.'

What do you think? Email or write to EDP Letters, Prospect House, Rouen Road, Norwich NR1 1RE

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