Where will Cromer’s new sports pitch go?
- Credit: Archant
A disused patch of land has received most support from Cromer residents who believe it would be the best site for a new town sports facility.
The land, off Overstrand Road, is known as the former Golf Practice Ground and has been highlighted by local people as the best of four spots to house a new sports pitch, to replace the existing one in Cabbell Park.
It followed a public consultation on four alternative sports sites chosen by North Norfolk District Council (NNDC).
At a meeting of NNDC's cabinet on Monday, councillors are expected to decide the next step in the plan, which would be to consult the landowner and ask if they are willing to sell the space.
The new sports facility, which would be home to both the adult and youth football club, would be funded by profits made through selling Cabbell Park football ground, owned by the district council since 2013.
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Cabbell Park, the current home of Cromer Town Football Club (CTFC), is set to become the site of a new £3m health centre.
CTFC club chairman Paul Jarvis said: 'As a club we have accepted the fact we do not have the right to stay at Cabbell Park.
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'We are very pleased because Overstrand Road was our preferred site and we would be very pleased if that is what happened.
'None of the other sites were practical in terms of their accessibility, especially on foot.'
He added: 'With the addition of Cromer Youth (football club) using the same facility, they will have the means they desperately need to encourage more people.'
Mr Jarvis said the site was the closest to their current one at Cabbell Park, which is land given to the people of Cromer in 1922 by Evelyn Bond Cabbell, in memory of the town's First World War dead.
Just over 150 individuals responded to the public consultation which included the Overstand Road site, along with land east of Roughton Road, an area south of Compit Hills and land south of the Cromer Karttrack as options for the new sports pitch.
Council leader Tom FitzPatrick said the former golf practice ground stood out as the favoured site because it lay within the boundary of Cromer parish and had the advantage of being in walking distance, which he said would especially benefit young people.
Mr FitzPatrick, who described the move as a 'once in a lifetime opportunity', added the new facility, which the council hopes will consist of four football pitches, would still be a war memorial for local people but it would be better for the town.
'It will benefit Cromer Town Football Club. Some people say it will be leaving its historic home but that was never its intended purpose', he said.
The district council has released an online consultation asking the public about their views on lifting an historic covenant on Cabbell Park which states it should remain an open space.
Mr FitzPatrick said he believed the positive public response to the proposed medical centre was such that he felt people would get behind the lifting of the restriction.
The details of the consultation will be the subject of a further report to cabinet in September.
In the meantime, the council has started groundworks at the park to allow the exiting football pitch to be moved within the site and to the west.