New 21-acre sports village could be built at Anglian Windows Site near Norwich

The Anglian Windows site off Holt Road, Norwich which could be turned into a new sports village. Pic

The Anglian Windows site off Holt Road, Norwich which could be turned into a new sports village. Picture: MARK BULLIMORE

A new sports village could be created on the outskirts of the city, with the official charity of Norwich City Football Club working on 'visionary' proposals for a 21 acre site.

The Norwich City Community Sports Foundation (NCCSF) helps more than 20,000 people every year, including the disadvantaged and disabled, through sport.

It does that in a series of community hubs, including at Carrow Park, Eaton & Otley College and a number of schools across the county.

But the charity is looking to secure 'significant funding' which could enable it to create the new sports village on a site near Horsford.

The land, off Holt Road, near the roundabout where the A140 meets the B1149, is currently leased to Anglian Windows, where it used to be home to the company's head office and for staff sports.

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Anglian Windows no longer needs a lease on the land and Norwich City Community Sports Foundation has approached Norfolk County Council, which owns the land along with Norwich City Council to discuss its future.

The foundation has signalled that it has enough money in its reserves to buy the land, previously valued at £645,000, in instalments, completing in 2020, when the Anglian Windows lease can be broken.

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Dan Wynne, spokesman for the foundation, said: ' We are providing so many services now, that we are always looking at new opportunities to broaden what we are offering. We are looking to get bigger as a charity, so we are exploring how we can expand.'

The city council has agreed it is happy to sell the land to the foundation, but members of Norfolk County Council's policy and resources committee will meet next week to decide what to do.

Papers which will go before county councillors next week state: 'The county council has recently been approached to approve the sale of this land to

Norwich City Community Sports Foundation, who are in the process of securing significant funding to invest in their new sports village facilities.

'The proposals put forward by NCCSF are visionary and very extensive with considerable sporting, recreational and community benefits arising.

'The property deal negotiated, subject to approval, will also see an earlier use of the site which otherwise will become overgrown and of no benefit to the community.

'Having discussed their proposals with NCCSF it is clear that there is wide ranging support from sporting and community organisations.

'The sale of this land to facilitate NCCSF developments as proposed will represent a good use of assets to meet council priorities and therefore a sale direct without market can be justified.

'However marketing the site is the best form of evidence of market interest and to some extent the market value.'

County councillors will be asked, when the policy and resources committee meets on Tuesday next week, whether to approve the sale, subject to terms being agreed or whether they want to see the land marketed for recreation use and inviting financial bids for its development.

County Hall officers sought planning advice and has been told that, because the site is in a rural setting and partly under the no-fly zone of Norwich International Airport, it would not be suitable for housing or employment use.

Jim Graves, clerk of Horsford Parish Council, said the parish council had yet to be approached about the possibility of the sport village.

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