Sports hub proposal could lead to new swimming pool in Cromer
Ambitious plans have emerged to expand the sports facilities on offer at a north Norfolk secondary school - including the creation of a new full-size swimming pool.
Cromer Academy Principal, Dr Geoff Baker, revealed the school is in talks with North Norfolk District Council (NNDC) over plans for a sports hub which, it is envisaged, could be made a reality within just two years.
However, it is unclear how the new development would impact on the neighbouring football club's campaign to keep its home at Cabbell Park, which is currently earmarked as the site for the town's new medical centre.
Speaking at last night's meeting of Cromer Town Council, Dr Baker said: 'We are hoping to expand the facilities and have a decent, full-size swimming pool, since this is a coastal community.
'We are working with North Norfolk Distrct Council who are reviewing the whole area rather than just bolt on an extra building to the end of the school.
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'We need a decent full-size pool that is open to the community at weekends.' And he added: 'They are looking at (doing) something over the next two years.'
The meeting heard the school had already benefited from a £1 million makeover with new chairs in every classroom, new computers and a new roof.
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Head Girl Nicole Bullock said: 'It feels like a whole new school. We feel more at home and less cold and changes in the canteen are encouraging pupils to eat more healthy.'
Cromer Town Council officially agreed its support for the football club at ita meeting and revealed it was 'extremely concerned' about district council proposals for Cromer Town to share changing room facilities with the Academy.
Mayor Tim Adams said: 'I don't want anyone using the site to be hindered in any way because of clashes.'
Earlier in the day, Tom FitzPatrick, leader of North Norfolk District Council, told his cabinet meeting that Cabbell Park had become vested in NNDC after the trust running it was wound up in 2011. Mrs Bond Cabbell had left it to the people of Cromer in memory of the town's First World War dead. But for many years it had been used exclusively for football.
The first approach about building a medical centre there had been to Cromer Town FC and the district council had taken on these approaches.
'There is a pressing need in Cromer for this medical centre,' he said. 'We have undertaken extensive work, including seeding, to move the pitch and we have worked with all the stakeholders, including Cromer Town FC.
'NNDC has not only made huge efforts to fulfill Mrs Bond Cabbell's wishes but also to ensure that football can be played on that ground until we can ensure alterantive provision.'