Peace as Cromer football clubs join forces over choice of sports hub site
Two key Cromer football clubs are putting past differences behind them and 'looking to the future' as a public consultation begins on finding a new sports site for the town.
And if the two get their way, footballers will be playing on a former golf practice course in future.
Cromer Town Football Club (CTFC) and Cromer Youth Football Club (CYFC) are joining forces to press for the ex-golfing land, off the town's Overstrand Road, to be chosen from four shortlisted sites.
North Norfolk District Council, which has identified the four, wants to hear the public's opinions on the golf plot, and three others: land to the west of Roughton Road, to the east of Roughton Road, and off The Avenue, south of Cromer KartTrak, in Northrepps.
The new peace between the two football clubs follows years of wrangling over use of CTFC's Cabbell Park ground, on Mill Road.
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CYFC, formed more than 30 years ago, has never had its own ground and is desperate for a home.
The district council, which became the owner of Cabbell Park in 2013, plans to sell it for development, ploughing the proceeds into a new hub for use by football and other sports clubs in the town.
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The move had been bitterly opposed by CTFC but club chairman Paul Jarvis said they now accepted that they no longer had any legal rights to play at the ground as their 1922 lease had expired.
Club chiefs would be meeting their CYFC counterparts on Tuesday to discuss the way forward.
'We haven't always seen eye to eye but we now want to look to the future. It's all looking positive,' he said.
'We will both be pressing for the golf ground to be chosen. 'It's the only one with suitable pedestrian access and it's already designated for sports use.'
Cabbell Park was given to the town by landowner Evelyn Bond-Cabbell in memory of Cromer's First World War dead.
Mr Jarvis said if the district council transferred the memorial ground status he felt it had to be vested in the golf plot as that was the only one of the four sites actually within the parish of Cromer.
Dan Bailey, vice-chairman of CYFC, said it was crucial for both clubs that the new site included facilities, such as a clubhouse, which they could use to generate income.
After decades of a nomadic existence, the club was looking forward to concentrating on building its strength, rather than constantly hunting for affordable places to play.
'I think we're all breathing a big sigh of relief that we can prepare for the future at last,' Mr Bailey added.
? The consultation period is open until April 17. Leaflets with details of the sites are available from Cromer Tourist Information Centre, the district council's Holt Road offices in the town, and Cromer Town Council. Written details can also be sent out by the district council. Comments can be made via http://consult.north-norfolk.gov.uk/portal, email email@example.com or write to the Planning Policy Team, North Norfolk District Council, Holt Road, Cromer NR27 9EN.