Reader letter: Why can’t UEA site for Norwich Rugby Club be used for everyone right now?

Picture by Mike Page.Picture shows:UEA Sports ground

Picture by Mike Page.Picture shows:UEA Sports ground

Re the article by Dominic Gilbert (EDP, July 7) about the revised application for the relocation of Norwich Rugby Club (NRC) to the University of East Anglia (UEA) playing fields. In the article, the UEA claims that 'one of the over-arching outcomes of the proposals is that the university would be able to open the area for community use'. However, for years local teams used the existing, underused facilities. Why did this stop and what is stopping the UEA making the site available to local people now? The proposed clubhouse and all new pitches are rugby associated and will require extensive excavation and reprofiling of the site and hundreds of trees will probably have to be cut down. The developers admit in the amended application that most of proposals will have 'moderate adverse' effects; many people believe the proposals will have 'major adverse effects' on the landscape and the environment. Three potential alternative club sites north of Norwich close to the NDR have been identified. These include a site specifically allocated for NRC by the Beyond Green consortium as part of the north Norwich urban extension. It has not been sufficiently made clear why these sites have been rejected. It appears that almost the only beneficiaries of the proposed development will be a local rugby club and UEA. It seems the UEA is using the application as a backdoor method of plonking massive car parks in the heart of the Yare valley.

Graham Martin, Colney


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